The South Africa-born Elon Reeve Musk FRS has gone past Amazon.com Inc’s top boss Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest man after Tesla’s share price soared 4.8% taking his net worth to 188.5 billion at 10:15 a.m. in New York, $1.5 billion more than Bezos. Also Read: Volkswagen launches ID.4 electric vehicles in China to take on Tesla and Nio; to roll out 8 ID. models by 2023
Jeff Bezos has been the richest man since October 2017 according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 wealthiest people. He would still have been the richest man had it not been for his divorce. The divorce saw him give away about a quarter of his Amazon stake to his ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, and his philanthropy. He donated shares worth about $680 million in November. Also Read: Tesla shares sank 6.3% ahead of trading debut on the S&P 500 Index after record close last week
Meanwhile, Musk is also a rival to Bezos, owner of Blue Origin LLC, in the private space race.
The milestone caps an extraordinary 12 months for Musk. The net worth of Musk has soared by more than $150 billion over the past year. Musk had a great 2020 owing to a big rally in Tesla share price. Tesla gained 743% last year on the back of consistent profits, inclusion in the S&P 500 Index and enthusiasm from Wall Street and retail investors alike. Also Read: US Capitol violence: Lawmakers demand immediate removal of Trump
Musk owns 20% stake in the automaker and is sitting on about $42 billion of unrealized paper gains on vested stock options. Those securities come from two grants he received in 2012 and 2018, the latter of which was the largest pay deal ever struck between a CEO and a corporate board. Also Read: Apple iCar? Self-driving car with “next level” battery tech from iPhone maker could be a reality in 2024
The surge in Tesla’s stock price gives additional push and inflates the valuation of Tesla from other automakers. Tesla produced just over half-a-million cars last year, a fraction of the output of Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. The company is poised for further near-term gains as Democrats captured both Georgia Senate seats and handed control of Congress to the party that’s advocated for quicker adoption of electric vehicles. Also Read: Tesla signs 5-year supply deal with China’s Yahua for battery-grade lithium hydroxide amid COVID-19 pandemic