The year was off to a good start for the head of Tesla Inc., Elon Musk. This was after he was dubbed to have surpassed Jeff Bezos, Amazon boss, to become the world’s richest person, according to Bloomberg.
According to the report, the 49-year-old business prodigy had a net worth of more than US$ 188.5 billion ($242.3 billion) – including Thursday’s gains in Tesla shares – which is US$1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) more than Mr Bezos.
The boost of Mr Musk’s personal wealth came to surface last year when Tesla became the world’s most valuable car manufacturing company, with shares surging more than eight-fold.
He has a 20 per cent stake in the company and about US$42 billion ($54.1 billion) of unrealized paper gains in vested stock options, according to the Bloomberg report. Tesla shares were up as much as 7.4 per cent on Thursday (local time) at a record high of US$811.61 ($1,046).
All that being said, the Forbes Billionaires List cited Mr Musk still trailed Mr Bezos by US$7.8 billion ($10.1 billion). It sparked speculation given the fact that Forbes has a more conservative estimate based on the Tesla stake that he has pledged as collateral for personal loans.
Despite that, the possibilities of the space enthusiast’s skyrocket of riches, even passing Forbes’ meticulous measure, is at par. Mr Musk, who co-founded and sold internet payments company PayPal, now leads some of the most futuristic companies in the world.
He also heads rocket company SpaceX and Neuralink, a startup that is developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect the human brain to computers, a very ambitious yet revolutionary technology under development.
Moreover, set up the Boring Company to make affordable tunnels below busy city streets for an all-electric public transportation system to avoid the nasty traffic jams in US cities.
The journey to get there though is a rough one for Mr Musk.
For instance, in the middle of 2019, Tesla’s losses were piling up as sales were not enough to cover expenses and big debt payments loomed.
Even the influential Wall Street analyst raised the possibility that Tesla would not be able to pay its bills and would have to be restructured financially.
However, since then, the electric car and solar panel maker’s shares have skyrocketed, rising nearly 700 per cent in 2020 alone. Tesla’s upsurge has been so spectacular that even Mr Musk has said the shares were overpriced.
The latest development in software, engineering and battery has caused Tesla to surge relentlessly until now. To date, numerous business giants are keeping an eye on Mr Musk’s company as as he also keeping up with his vision of going to Mars on a SpaceX mission.
(Image source: ABC News)