2020 has been a year of dizzying acclivities for Elon Musk and on Monday, the 49-year-old entrepreneur went on to become the World’s second richest man, overcoming Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who hasn’t seen an inferior position in 17 years. On Monday, the upsurge in Tesla’s share prices gave Elon Musk’s net worth a thrust of more than 7.2 billion, bringing it to a staggering 127.9 billion.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Musk ranked 35th on the list in January. But amid this pandemic, which saw millions across the world lose their jobs and livelihoods, Musk added more than $100.3 billion to his overall net worth in this year solely. Yet, there is a sizable gap between him and the number one spot holder Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who has a stated net worth of around $182 billion.
The reason behind Musk’s soaring assets has mainly been driven by Tesla’s share price. Tesla currently has a market cap of almost $500 billion, despite beginning the year at under $100 billion. The Guardian reported that Tesla has the highest market cap of any automobile company in the world, in spite of producing only a fraction of the cars of more established car manufacturers. This year it is expecting to produce 500,000 cars, whereas a company like Toyota produces around 10 million. According to Bloomberg, about three-quarters of Musk’s net worth consists of Tesla shares, which are priced more than four times his stake in SpaceX. Even SpaceX saw a recent triumph of transporting four astronauts to the International Space Station on its Crew Dragon spacecraft.
On the other hand, before being bumped by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in 2017, Bill Gates was sitting atop the Billionaires Index for years. In fact, Bloomberg noted that Gates would have probably had a higher net worth today if he hadn’t given so much money to charity, including more than $27 billion he donated through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation since 2006.
Gates and Musk have also had some verbal sparrings this year. In September, Musk ridiculed Gates by saying that he had “no clue” about the viability of electric trucks after the latter’s statement regarding the impracticality of electric semi-trucks, cargo ships, and passenger jets. Furthermore, early this year, the two also traded barbs over Covid-19. Gates had told CNBC that Musk should avoid making big conjectures about areas that he’s not familiar with, speaking in context with Tesla CEO’s downplaying remarks about the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among all the turn of events, netizens took to Twitter, posting amusing memes about the takeover.
Surprisingly, Elon Musk’s response to all these tidbits was just a “Wow”.