Elon Musk becomes world’s richest man, surpassing Amazon boss Jeff Bezos

The billionaire business magnate, Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk becomes world’s richest man with net worth of more than $188.5bn surpassing Amazon boss Jeff Bezos $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.  

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

Musk's personal wealth has been boosted by last year's more than eight-fold surge in the shares of Tesla, which became the world's most valuable carmaker. The rapid rise in Musk's personal wealth 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. 

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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.

Musk, who co-founded and sold Internet payments company PayPal, now leads some of the most futuristic companies in the world. Besides Tesla, he heads rocket firm SpaceX and Neuralink, a startup that is developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect our brains to computers.

On sharing the news of Musk grabbing the #1 spot on the wealthiest person chart on the planet, a Twitter account that goes by the username "Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley" tagged the Teslaman and wrote: @elonmusk is now the richest person in the world at $190 billion."

Responding to the tweet, Musk simply wrote: "How strange."

Before responding to his previous tweet by adding: "Well, back to work…"

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.

Musk also tweeted: "So proud of the Tesla team for achieving this major milestone! At the start of Tesla, I thought we had (optimistically) a 10% chance of surviving at all".

As per 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.