Elon Musk becomes world’s best-paid CEO with whopping £8 billion pay boost

When it comes to well-paid bosses, Tesla founder Elon Musk beats them all. Musk was paid about $11 billion (about £8bn) last year, according to an estimate by business magazine Forbes.

That puts him well above Paycom CEO Chad Richison, who picked up a paltry $211 million (£150m) in 2020, and 1Life Healthcare CEO Amir Dan Rubin who lags behind with a hardly-worth-collecting $199 million (£143m).

The South African-born tech billionaire – already one of the world’s richest men with a fortune estimated at some $165 billion – won’t collect his $11 billion pay packet in cash though.

This bumper bonus is tied up in stock options that he wouldn’t be able to sell for five years.

Not that he’s suffering. Musk’s net worth has increased by some $140 billion, or about £100 billion, since this time last year.

And while the whopping pay deal is tied to Tesla’s stock price, and could technically be worth a little less by the time Musk is allowed to cash it in, the electric car company’s share price is soaring at the moment and could just as easily be significantly more. Tesla shares currently change hands for around $670 (£480) each.

Musk has one or two other jobs too, including at SpaceX, where he’s just scored a $2.9 billion contract to build NASA’s Moon lander.

He’s currently ranked as the third-richest person in the world, behind his rival Jeff Bezos and French luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault.

However, Elon Musk’s wealth is rising fast while Bill Gates, currently ranked as the world’s fourth-richest, is about to undergo an expensive divorce which could well see him tumbling down the global rich list rankings.

His main focus remains not on piling up more cash, though, but using the cash he has to help him get off this planet.

"I think there are really two fundamental paths," he wrote in 2017.

"History is going to bifurcate along two directions. One path is we stay on Earth forever, and then there will be some eventual extinction event.

"I do not have an immediate doomsday prophecy, but eventually, history suggests, there will be some doomsday event.

"The alternative is to become a space-faring civilisation and a multi-planetary species, which I hope you would agree is the right way to go."

Quite how much that $11 billion will be worth on Mars remains to be seen.

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