Elon Musk Sails Past Jeff Bezos to Become Richest Person

Elon Musk has overtaken Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to become the richest person on the planet.

A jump in the stock value of Musk’s Tesla electric car company this week pushed the entrepreneur’s worth to an eye-watering$195 billion, $10 billion more than Bezos’s current value, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who once sat at the top of Bloomberg’s table of unspeakably rich people, has slipped to third place with a mere $134 billion to his name.

After hearing about his elevation to the top spot in Bloomberg’s wealth index, the 49-year-old Musk, who also runs commercial space transportation company SpaceX and a tunneling outfit called The Boring Company, tweeted, “How strange,� before adding in a subsequent post, “Well, back to work … .�

Musk’s current pinned tweet, posted in 2018, says he uses half of his wealth “to help problems on Earth & half to help establish a self-sustaining city on Mars to ensure continuation of life (of all species) in case Earth gets hit by a meteor like the dinosaurs or WW3 happens & we destroy ourselves.�

In another tweet posted at the same time, Musk suggested he has little time to enjoy any kind of lavish lifestyle.

You should ask why I would want money. The reason is not what you think. Very little time for recreation. Don’t have vacation homes or yachts or anything like that.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 12, 2018

Bloomberg noted that this year “no one has seen a more dramatic shift than Musk� when it comes to personal wealth, with the South Africa-born industrial engineer — who also cofounded PayPal in 1998 — adding more than $165 billion to his fortune over the last 12 months in what the news outlet describes as “probably the fastest bout of wealth creation in history.�

Propelling Musk to the top spot was an extraordinary rally in Tesla’s share price, which increased by an incredible 743% in 2020 “on the back of consistent profits, inclusion in the S&P 500 Index, and enthusiasm from Wall Street and retail investors alike,� Bloomberg said.

Musk’s first notable financial success in his entrepreneurial adventures came in 1999 when he sold software company Zip2 to Compaq for a reported $300 million. Three years after that, in 2002, eBay acquired PayPal for $1.4 billion. In the same year, Musk set up SpaceX, and two years later he joined Tesla before becoming its CEO in 2008.

As much as 99% of Musk’s wealth is held in shares. In December 2019, he said, “Some people think I have a lot of cash,� adding, “I actually don’t.�

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index updates on a daily basis and is described as “a dynamic measure of personal wealth based on changes in markets, the economy, and Bloomberg reporting.�

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