Elon Musk has edged past Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to grab the title of world’s richest person, according to Bloomberg.
Elon Musk has edged past Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to grab the title of world's richest person, according to Bloomberg.
A 6 per cent rise in Tesla shares early on Thursday lifted the value of its CEO's stock holdings and options by US$10 billion ($12.91 billion), taking his net worth to about US$191 billion ($246.6 billion).
A more modest rise of less than 2 per cent lifted Bezos' Amazon shares by about US$3 billion ($3.87 billion), putting his net worth at US$187 billion ($241 billion).
Bloomberg's real-time billionaire tracker still has Bezos about US$3 billion ($3.87 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 US$132 billion ($170 billion), according to Bloomberg.
The Forbes real-time tracker still has Musk and Bezos US$18 billion ($23.24 billion) apart as of the close of trading Wednesday, after Bezos lost US$4.3 billion ($5.55 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 Wednesday lifted Musk's net worth by US$4.1 ($5.29 billion) billion to US$165.4 billion ($213.5 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 US$75 billion ($96.8 billion) in 2020, to US$173.3 billion ($223.69 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 US$106 billion ($136.8 billion) during 2020, as shares shot up 743 per cent during the course of the year.
The value of his stock options he held at the start of the year increased by US$14.2 billion ($18.33 billion), while the new options he received during the course of the year as part of his pay package had a value of US$21.5 billion ($27.75 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 per cent since then, lifting Musk's net worth by US$53 billion ($68.4 billion) over the past couple months.
Tesla shares are off to a good start in 2021, rising more than $90 a share, or 13 per cent, since the start of this year, including the gains early Thursday. That has lifted Musk's Tesla holdings and options by about US$21 billion ($27.11 billion) this year. Meanwhile, Amazon's stock was down slightly for the year as of late morning Thursday.
Musk is set to qualify for options to buy another 16.9 million shares of Tesla early this year, according to company filings. Those options would be worth US$12.3 billion ($15.88 billion) at the shares' current value, after taking into account the exercise price.
Bezos does not have any Amazon stock options, only the 53.2 million shares he has as the company's founder. He would have had more if he hadn't given 19.7 million shares to his ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, in his divorce. Bezos has also sold off or has given away shares as part of his charitable donations. Musk has never disposed of any Tesla shares.
Bezos isn't the only one that Musk caught up to Thursday. ExxonMobil, the United States' most valuable oil company, had a market value at midday Thursday of just under US$191 billion ($246.53 billion). So Musk, who is a leading advocate of switching drivers around the world from gas and diesel to electric vehicles, is for the time being at least worth more than America's largest oil company.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/elon-musk-overtakes-jeff-bezos-to-become-worlds-richest-person/2e96f4c9-8ad9-4a19-9cd3-69b67790db79