Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla, just became the richest person on Earth, a title that was previously owned by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. This happened as Tesla’s stock price continued to rise, leading to Musk’s net worth of about $188 billion.
.@elonmusk is now the richest person in the world at $190 billion.— Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley (@teslaownersSV) January 7, 2021
Musk and Bezos’ rivalry in terms of personal wealth is something that has been going on for years. It was reported that Bezos became so envious of Musk’s success at one point, that it was Musk’s $1.3 billion incentive package for Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada that became the reason for the development of Amazon’s beauty pageant-style search for its second headquarters.
The competition between Musk and Bezos doesn’t just end here, but the two tech lords also own their own spaceflight companies; Bezos owns his in Blue Origin, while Musk has his in SpaceX. They have also traded barbs about their rockets and even fought over hallowed NASA real estate, with SpaceX eventually gaining victory and becoming the only one of both the companies to successfully reach orbit.
In November, Musk surpassed Bill Gates to become the second wealthiest person on planet. His personal wealth skyrocketed by more than $150 billion in 2020, mostly because Musk owns about 20% of the company and Tesla’s stock has grown significantly valuable over the last year or so. Furthermore, as a result of Tesla’s more affordable vehicles, Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV, the sales of the company’s electric vehicles dramatically increased.
Another major factor behind Musk’s continuous success has been the 10-year compensation package that he signed with the company back in 2018. As a result, he is rewarded with a raft of company stock options every time a new milestone is achieved. The amount that he received from it earlier this year was worth around $800 million.
Musk is also known for using his own personal wealth to fund new endeavors, like how he funded Tesla and SpaceX after becoming a millionaire running Zip2 and PayPal.
Musk’s title for the wealthiest man, however, is something that is based on the calculation of knowable assets only. World leaders like Vladimir Putin and Mohammed bin Salman, for instance, are extremely wealthy in ways that are not as simple to calculate, while also possessing access to the vast wealth of their nations.