Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX, is now the richest person in the world.
An increase in Tesla’s share price on Thursday pushed Mr. Musk past Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 wealthiest people.
Mr. Musk’s net worth was $188.5 billion at 10:15 a.m. in New York on Thursday, $1.5 billion more than that of Mr. Bezos. Mr. Musk’s wealth has increased by more than $150 billion over the past 12 months, thanks to a rally in Tesla’s share price, which surged 743 percent in 2020. The carmaker’s shares were up as much as 6.5 percent on Thursday.
“How strange,” Mr. Musk said on Twitter. “Well, back to work,” he added.
Mr. Musk, a South African-born entrepreneur, would not have been able to edge out Mr. Bezos — who has held the title of the richest person in the world since Oct. 2017 — were it not for Mr. Bezos’ philanthropy, including his donation of $680 million worth of Amazon shares in November, as well as his divorce, which caused him to relinquish about 25 percent of his stock in the e-commerce giant to MacKenzie Scott, his ex-wife.
But the rally in Tesla’s stock price was also propelled by the company’s success last year. Tesla delivered nearly 500,000 cars in 2020 as sales rose 36 percent from the year before. The company reported profits in the last four quarters, and its stock was added to the S&P 500 index.
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