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South African born, Elon Musk is now the richest person in the world, passing Jeff Bezos

PUBLISHED: Thu, 07 Jan 2021 19:19:25 GMT

Robert Frank

CNBC Africa

Key Points
  • Elon Musk just became the richest person in the world, with a net worth of more than $185 billion.
  • Thursday’s increase in Tesla’s share price pushed Musk past Jeff Bezos, who had been the richest person since 2017 and is currently worth about $184 billion.
  • Musk’s wealth surge over the past year marks the fastest rise to the top of the rich list in history — and marks a dramatic financial turnaround for the famed entrepreneur.
Billionaire Elon Musk: I am not Warren Buffett’s biggest fan (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for E3/Entertainment Software Association)

Elon Musk just became the richest person in the world, with a net worth of more than $185 billion.

Thursday’s increase in Tesla’s share price pushed Musk past Jeff Bezos, who had been the richest person since 2017 and is currently worth about $184 billion. Musk’s wealth surge over the past year marks the fastest rise to the top of the rich list in history — and marks a dramatic financial turnaround for the famed entrepreneur who just 18 months ago was in the headlines for Tesla’s rapid cash burn and his personal leverage against Tesla’s stock.

Musk started 2020 worth about $27 billion, and was barely in the top 50 richest people.

Tesla’s rocketing share price — which has increased more than nine-fold over the past year — along with his generous pay package have added more than $150 billion to his net worth.

Meanwhile, Amazon’s share price has remained more subdued due to the potential for increased regulation from Washington.

Elon Musk passed Warren Buffett in July to become the seventh richest person. In November, Musk raced past Bill Gates to become the second richest person. Musk has gained more wealth over the past 12 months than Bill Gates’ entire net worth of $132 billion.

Tesla’s shares were recently trading at about $790, up more than 4% in trading Thursday. The company’s market value has grown to $737.6 billion.


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