Elon Musk just became the richest person in the world, with a net worth of more than $185 billion following Thursday’s increase in Tesla’s shares that pushed him past Jeff Bezos who has been the richest man in the world since 2017. Tesla’s shares were recently trading at about $790, up more than 4% in trading Thursday. The company’s market value has grown to $737.6 billion.
Musk, who started 2020 worth $27bn and was barely in the top 50 richest people, owns roughly 20 percent of Tesla’s shares plus 57 million vested Tesla shares, and an increase in the company’s stock market value has led to an increase in his net worth.
He also doesn’t receive any salary for his work as CEO of the company but instead receives compensation in the form of massive financial incentives that are also tied to Tesla’s stock market value.
Also, Elon’s stake in SpaceX which is a reported 48 percent, and the company’s financial performance in 2020, including a successful increased valuation in August, must have contributed to his growth in wealth.
In November, Elon saw his net worth climb past that of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, and in less than two weeks he climbed past Bill Gates to become the second richest person in the world behind Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
How did he make his fortune?
In 1995 he and his brother Kimbal started software firm Zip2, which created internet city guides for the New York Times and Chicago Tribune. Four years later Elon made $22million when the firm was sold to Compaq.
Later in 1999 he founded X.com, one of the world’s first online banks, which merged with PayPal in 2000.In 2002,PayPal was bought by eBay for $1.4bn and at that time Musk held 11.7 percent PayPal shares.