Elon Musk is now the richest man in the world, reports CNBC. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO surpasses Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who had been the richest person in the world since 2017.
Musk now has a net worth of over $185 billion, compared to the $184 billion of Bezos.
His rise to the top of the world’s wealth charts is the fastest ever, as he started 2020 with a net worth of “only” $27 billion – meaning he had barely made his way into the top 50 most wealthy people in the world.
However, Tesla shares have grown exponentially over the past year, and this combined with his tremendous pay package has funded his rise to the top.
In fact, the amount Musk has added to his fortune over the past year is more than Bill Gates’ entire net worth.
Tesla shares were among the fastest-growing shares in the world last year, increasing by nine times over the course of 2020.
In November, Tesla’s market value was higher than the following 12 car makers combined:
- Mercedes Benz
- General Motors
- Fiat Chrysler
It is also the most valuable automaker in the world, having passed Toyota in July 2020.
This is despite Tesla having been at risk of bankruptcy in previous years.
Musk recently said the company was about a month from bankruptcy during the run-up in Model 3 production between 2017 and 2019.
Additionally, it was heading for bankruptcy with just two weeks’ worth of cash left in the bank in 2013.
The valuation of Tesla has been the cause of much controversy – particularly since Toyota’s car sales and revenue dwarf that of Tesla.
AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson has responded to this by calling Tesla’s valuation “insane.”
However, Vestact portfolio manager Byron Lotter has explained that long-term, Tesla could be the next Apple.
“I think they are going to corner the EV market in the next decade just like Apple did with smartphones because of their first-mover advantage and brand quality,” he said.
“Maybe on a fundamentals basis the valuation does not make sense, but that can be said for many other companies like Amazon in the 2000s,” he said.