Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk became the richest person on the planet, going past Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos on Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 wealthiest people.
A 4.8 per cent rally in Tesla’s share price on Thursday took Musk past Bezos, with a net worth of $188.5 billion, 1.5 billion more than Bezos, who has held the top spot since October 2017.
Musk’s net worth increased by more than $150 billion this year and Tesla’s share price surged a massive 743 per cent last year.
Musk reacted to the news in signature style, replying to a Twitter user sharing the news with the remark “how strange”.
He told Axel Springer in an interview last month that the key purpose of his wealth is to “accelerate humanity’s evolution into a spacefaring civilisation”.
An older tweet pinned to the top of his feed offered further insight into his thoughts on personal wealth. “About half my money is intended to help problems on Earth, and 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 and we destroy ourselves,” it reads.
The world’s 500 richest people added a record $1.8 trillion to their combined net worth last year, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Tesla delivered 499,550 vehicles in 2020, slightly missing its most recent guidance of 5,00,000 vehicles.
In the fourth quarter, Tesla delivered 1,61,650 Model 3 and Model Y cars and produced 1,63,660 such vehicles. The automaker also delivered 18,920 Model S and X vehicles and produced 16,097 of them.
“In 2020, we produced and delivered half a million vehicles, in line with our most recent guidance. In addition, Model Y production in Shanghai has begun, with deliveries expected to begin shortly,” the company said in a statement last week.
The company achieved the feat despite closing its new factory in China as well as its vehicle plant in Fremont, California for several weeks as the new coronavirus spread.