Elon Musk overtakes Bill Gates to become world’s second richest person

Elon Musk has passed Bill Gates to become the world’s second richest man as Tesla’s share price continues to soar.

The electric car company’s value has risen following the announcement that it would join the S&P 500 index, and is currently valued at $521.49 (£390.20) a share.

Mr Musk, 49, is now worth more than $128 billion (£95bn) as he owns 20% of all of the company’s shares, which have risen by more than 675% since 25 November last year, when they were valued at $67.27 (£50.33) each

The limelight-friendly billionaire started this year in 37th position on the rich list. Last week he overtook Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg in third position.

People charge their Tesla vehicles at a charging station inside a mall in Shanghai on October 23, 2017. - Tesla has reached an agreement with Shanghai authorities that would make it the first foreign automaker to build its own plant in China, putting it in the driver's seat in the world's biggest electric-vehicle market, the Wall Street Journal reported. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)
Image:Tesla shares rose on the news it would be added to the S&P 500

The deposition of Bill Gates, who is also worth $128bn, marks only the second time the Microsoft founder has dropped out of the top two on the Bloomberg billionaires index, although Mr Gates could conceivably be ranked higher if he did not persistently donate billions of his personal wealth to charity.

Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos remains at the top of the Bloomberg rich list, with an estimated net worth of $182bn (£136bn).

Tesla is the most valuable car company in the world by share price, with a market value of just over $494bn (£370bn).

More from Elon Musk

  • NASA SpaceX mission: Dragon capsule docks with International Space Station

  • SpaceX launches four astronauts to International Space Station

  • Elon Musk says he ‘most likely’ has a moderate case of COVID-19

  • COVID-19: Elon Musk says ‘something extremely bogus is going on’ after he ‘tests positive’ and ‘negative’ for coronavirus

  • SpaceX: NASA astronauts prepare for ‘taxi service’ to ISS – as rocket carrying Crew Dragon capsule set for launch

  • Tesla shares soar as company delivers record number of cars

It produces fewer vehicles than all of its major rivals, with just 500,000 expected this year. Toyota has an annual production of 10 million.

Mr Musk and Mr Gates have recently distinguished themselves by their reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Mr Gates’ foundation committing $36bn to ramping up the manufacturing and distribution of future vaccines.

In contrast, Mr Musk claimed to have taken four tests on the same day, two of which showed he was positive for the virus, and two that came back negative, as he stated “something extremely bogus is going on”.

It is not the first time the outspoken billionaire has expressed scepticism about the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this year, he described lockdowns as “forcibly imprisoning people in their homes” and “fascist”.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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