Elon Musk overtakes Jeff Bezos as world's richest person

Elon Musk shoots past space rival Jeff Bezos as the richest person thanks to Tesla's share price.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is now the world's richest person thanks to Tesla's ballooning stock price. 

According to the tech-dominated Bloomberg Billionaire index, Musk's personal net worth now stands at about $195bn, or $10bn more than Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos's $185bn. 

With $134bn, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is now the third richest person. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is the fifth richest with a net worth of $102bn.   

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Bezos overtook Gates in 2017 when their respective net worths were $99bn and $91bn. 

Musk brushed off the new 'world's richest person' title, tweeting "How strange" and then "Well, back to work …"

Bezos, who owns Blue Origin, is gunning for supremacy in the private space race against Musk's SpaceX. One facet of that rivalry is in low Earth orbit satellite broadband. SpaceX has launched over a thousand broadband-beaming Starlink satellites. Amazon is yet to launch any satellites, but plans to send up over 3,000 Project Kuiper satellites. Last month, Amazon boasted its end-user terminals were far more efficient than Starlink's

Bloomberg reports that Musk overtook Bezos on Thursday after Tesla's shares rose 7.9% to $816, up a year ago from just $98.

The rapid rise in Musk's personal wealth over the past year is mostly due to Tesla's soaring share price. Musk owns about 20% of Tesla shares. The company is now worth over $750bn, creating $165bn for Musk over the past year.    

But Tesla doesn't pay dividends and most of Musk's wealth is tied up in Tesla, SpaceX and the Boring Company, his under-city tunneling project. As such, Musk in May complained he was so "cash poor" he needed to sell all his physical possessions and "will own no house". He later listed several of his mansions for sale.

SEE: Tesla jumps 10% on news its stock to be added to S&P 500 index on December 21st

Musk has previously explained on Twitter that he didn't want money for fancy vacations and holiday homes. 

"About half my money is intended 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," he wrote in 2018

Bloomberg notes that Bezos would still be far richer than Musk had he not transferred a quarter of the family stake in Amazon to his ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, who's given away over $4bn of her wealth to charities.

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