Tesla CEO Elon Musk became the richest man in the world on Thursday, passing Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, according to NBC.
Musk’s net worth rose to $188.5 billion, $1.5 billion more than Bezos. Shares in electric carmaker Tesla rose by more than 6 percent on Thursday to push South African-born Musk into the top spot, dethroning Bezos from the place he has occupied for more than three years, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Tesla’s market capitalization, a measurement of the company’s stock price multiplied by its number of shares, has been rising tremendously since the beginning of last year, rising from about $80 billion in January 2020 to just over $760 billion today. Musk’s personal fortune, which is tied to Tesla’s share price, rose by more than $150 billion last year. The new valuation is more than eight times the combined values of the traditional “Big Three” U.S. automakers, GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler.
In November, Musk leapfrogged past Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to become the world’s second-richest man, with $128 billion at that time. Musk’s massive personal fortune comes mostly from owning 20 percent of Tesla and 54 percent of his space transportation company SpaceX. Tesla joined the S&P 500 in December, increasing trading volume and volatility as the size of its market cap forced investors to rebalance their portfolios to compensate for its weight in the index.
ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR: CONNOR KMIECIK
PHOTO CREDITS: AFP