Elon Musk overtakes Bill Gates as world's second wealthiest person
Elon Musk, the South African-born American business magnate, has overtaken US billionaire Bill Gates to become the world's second richest person, according to Bloomberg News.
Musk, 49, has added $100.3 billion to his net worth this year, the most of anyone on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 richest people. He now has an estimated $128 billion.
Musk added $7.2 billion in wealth on Monday alone following
another surge in the share price of Tesla, an American electric vehicle company that he has led since 2008.
Musk, who is also cofounder of SpaceX, had already overtaken numerous billionaires in recent weeks, including Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg and Bernard Arnault, the head of French luxury giant LVMH.
Now the only person he stands behind is Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, whose wealth is estimated at $182 billion.
2020 has been a lucrative year for the world’s richest people. Despite the coronavirus pandemic and widespread unemployment that has disproportionately affected the world’s working class and poor, the members of the Bloomberg index have collectively gained 23% — or $1.3 trillion — since the year began.
In 2020, Tesla shares have surged more than 500 percent and the company is now valued at more than $500 billion.
Musk, who owns about 18 percent of the shares, has made some $100 billion during this stretch.
Tesla shares have gained further since the presidential election of Joe Biden, who favors more aggressive policies to address climate change.
Gates was the world’s richest person from 1995 to 2017, except four of those years. He has given away $55 billion to charity.