Tesla’s CEO and SpaceX founder Elon Musk has emerged the richest person in the world with a total worth of $185 billion. Musk zoomed past Amazon’s Jeff Bezos who had occupied the position of the richest man in the world since 2017 with a current worth of $184 billion.
Musk’s worth was $27 billion at the beginning of 2020 (barely placing him within the ranks of the richest 50 people in the world), but he rose to become the richest in the world within one year.
Musk’s phenomenal rise to the top is attributable to the price of his company’s shares which soared more than nine folds, and his large pay package which added over $150 billion to his net worth.
In July 2020, Musk raced past Warren Buffett who was the seventh-richest person in the world at the time, and in November he zoomed past Bill Gates who was the second-richest person in the world. Gates currently is worth $132 billion and remains committed to giving away a majority of his wealth in philanthropy.
Musk’s Tesla’s market value rose over $760 billion after the company’s shares closed at $816.04 on Thursday, Yahoo reports.
On Wednesday, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index placed Elon Musk on Number 1 and within $3 billion of the net value of Jeff Bezos. On Thursday, the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List placed Musk behind Bezos by $7 billion after the market closed and had placed the SpaceX founder at $177.2 billion while Bezos had been placed at $184.6 billion. However, it was obvious that Forbes failed to include Musk’s options which he got as part of his pay package to acquire over 33 million Tesla shares.
When Musk was told that he is now the richest person on Earth, he responded on Twitter by saying “how strange. Well, back to work.”
Amazon’s share would have done better to keep Bezos at Number 1 if not for increased regulation from the federal government. However, the giant retailer made fortunes from the lockdown that emanated from the COVID-19 pandemic since most people ordered goods online and the firm’s sales went through the roof.