New York, Jan 7 (efe-epa).- The founder and CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, on Thursday surpassed Amazon boss Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest person, according to the real time list kept by Bloomberg.
The sharp rise in the value of Tesla shares, which have skyrocketed this year and on Thursday gained more than 5 percent on Wall Street, has hiked Musk’s fortune to some $188.5 billion, according to Bloomberg’s calculations, thus exceeding Bezos’ calculated wealth by some $1.5 billion.
Forbes magazine, which also has a real time list of the world’s wealthiest people, at present still has Musk ranked below the Amazon founder, who also has seen his fortune grow markedly since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Bezos has been the world’s richest person for the past three years, according to the Forbes ratings, which had been headed for 18 of the past 24 years by Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates.
According to Bloomberg, Bezos would continue by a good margin to have the largest fortune if it weren’t for his divorce, in which he had to hand over about a quarter of his Amazon assets to his ex-wife.
Musk reacted to the news with two brief Twitter posts, in which he said “How strange” and then “Well, back to work…”
The controversial Tesla chief has seen his fortune explode over the past year, rising by more than $150 billion thanks to the rally of his firm’s shares, which appreciated in value by an incredible 743 percent in 2020.
The 49-year-old mogul owns about 20 percent of the shares of his electric vehicle company and has some $42 billion in options that he received from the firm, according to Bloomberg.
In addition, he heads the SpaceX space company, a sector in which he is competing with Bezos, who heads Blue Origin.
Recently, Musk revealed that years ago he tried to sell Tesla to Apple when his company was going through difficulties but his offer – having calculated the value of the company at a tenth of its current capitalization – was summarily rejected by the tech giant.
In addition, in December Musk announced that he had moved from his Silicon Valley home to Texas, where his firms are creating for themselves a larger and larger economic footprint.