BUSINESS

Elon Musk overtakes Jeff Bezos to become world's richest person

January 07, 2021
Elon Musk, right, edged past Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to grab the title of world's richest person, according to Bloomberg. — Courtesy photo
Elon Musk, right, edged past Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to grab the title of world's richest person, according to Bloomberg. — Courtesy photo

NEW YORK — Elon Musk edged past Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to grab the title of world's richest person, according to Bloomberg.

A 6 percent rise in Tesla shares early Thursday lifted the value of its CEO's stock holdings and options by $10 billion, taking his net worth to about $191 billion. A more modest rise of less than 2 percent lifted Bezos' Amazon shares by about $3 billion, putting his net worth at $187 billion.

Bloomberg's real-time billionaire tracker still has Bezos about $3 billion ahead of Musk. But the tracker doesn't update until the end of the trading day. Bloomberg posted an article confirming Musk's title.

Bill Gates is now a distant third at $132 billion, according to Bloomberg.

The Forbes real-time tracker still has Musk and Bezos $18 billion apart as of the close of trading Wednesday, after Bezos lost $4.3 billion in the value of his Amazon stock. Although the broader market was up sharply Wednesday, Big Tech stocks, including Amazon, fell on concerns that Democratic control of the Senate could mean greater scrutiny and regulation on the industry.

Another gain in Tesla shares on Wednesday lifted Musk's net worth by $4.1 billion to $165.4 billion, according to Forbes' calculations. But Forbes does not appear to be giving Musk credit for the value of options he received in 2020 to buy an additional 33.6 million shares of Tesla.

Musk is also the primary shareholder and CEO of SpaceX, though SpaceX is privately held, so its value does not fluctuate as much as the value of Tesla.

Bezos' stake in Amazon shares increased by $75 billion in 2020, to $173.3 billion, given the huge increase in sales driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But that was nothing compared to Musk's holdings in Tesla. The 170 million shares of Tesla he already owns increased in value by $106 billion during 2020, as shares shot up 743 percent during the course of the year.

The value of the stock options he held at the start of the year increased by $14.2 billion, while the new options he received during the course of the year as part of his pay package had a value of $21.5 billion at year's end.

Musk caught Gates for the title of the world's second-richest person in late November, but Tesla shares have increased in value by 45 percent since then, lifting Musk's net worth by $53 billion over the past couple of months. — Courtesy CNN

January 07, 2021
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