South African-born entrepreneur Elon Musk has seen his fortune rise to $195 billion, making him the richest man on earth, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Until Thursday, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was the richest man in the world with a net worth of $185 billion.
The Space X and Tesla founder was pushed to the top spot after shares in Tesla rose by more than 6 percent on Thursday. Since the start of 2020, Tesla’s capitalization has grown from $80 billion in January 2020 to just over $760 billion as of Thursday, according to NBC News, while his personal fortune rose by more than $150 billion last year.
The new evaluation is more than eight times the combined values of the traditional “Big Three” U.S. automakers — GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, NBC added.
“How strange,” Musk tweeted Thursday. “Well, back to work …”
“Musk’s wealth surge over the past year marks the fastest rise to the top of the rich list in history — and is a dramatic financial turnaround for the famed entrepreneur, who just 18 months ago was in the headlines for Tesla’s rapid cash burn and his personal leverage against the company’s stock,” CNBC wrote. “Tesla’s rocketing share price — which has increased more than ninefold over the past year — along with his generous pay package have added more than $150 billion to his net worth.”
Musk started 2020 worth about $27 billion and was not among the top 50 richest list. However, he passed Warren Buffett to become the seventh-richest person in July. He gained more wealth than Bill Gates to become the second-richest person in November and has since gained more wealth over the past 12 months than Gates’ entire net worth of $132 billion, according to CNBC.
While Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index ranks Musk as the richest man in the world, Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires lists Bezos ahead of him. Bezos tops Forbes’ list with $184 billion while Musk comes in second with $177.2 billion.
However, according to CNBC, Forbes evaluation did not include the value of Musk’s options, which he received as part of his pay package, to buy more than 33 million shares of Tesla.
Last year, Musk’s Space X launched two crewed missions to the International Space Station, the first of it in the U.S. since NASA retired its space shuttle fleet in 2011, according to space.com. In all, Space X launched 26 missions in 2020.