Tesla Inc. co-founder Elon Musk has become the world’s second-richest person passing Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Driven by yet another surge in Tesla’s share price, the 49-year-old entrepreneur’s net worth soared $7.2 billion to $127.9 billion. To his net worth, this year Musk has added $100.3 billion. This is the most of anyone on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 richest people. He ranked 35th in January this year. This jump is largely due to Tesla, whose market value is about to reach $500 billion. Almost three-quarters of his net worth is consisting of Tesla shares. They are valued more than four times as much as his stake in Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX.
This is only the second time in the Bloomberg index’s eight-year history that Microsoft Corp. co-founder Gates has ranked lower than number two. Gates held the top spot for years before being jolted by Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos in 2017. However, it is also to be taken into consideration that Gates’s net worth of $127.7 billion would be much higher had he not donated so enormously to charity over the years. Since 2006, he has given more than $27 billion to his namesake foundation. Tesla had once ridiculed Gates for having no clue about electric trucks.
For the world’s richest people, the year has been a lucrative one. Since the year 2020 started, the members of the Bloomberg index have collectively gained 23%, in spite of the pandemic and widespread layoffs that have disproportionately affected the world’s working class and poor.