WASHINGTON: Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Thursday (January 7) became the richest person in the world, surpassing Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who had held the title since 2017.
The net worth of Musk is more than USD 185 billion, up from USD 27 billion in early 2020, according to a report by CNBC.
January 7's increase in Tesla's share price pushed Musk past Jeff Bezos, whose current net worth is about USD 184 billion.
Musk's wealth surge over the past year marks the fastest rise to the top of the rich list in history, CNBC reported. He has a 20% stake in the carmaker and about $42 billion of unrealized paper gains on vested stock options, according to the Bloomberg report. Besides Tesla, he heads rocket company SpaceX and Neuralink, a startup that is developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect the human brain to computers.
Musk started 2020 with his worth about USD 27 billion and was barely in the top 50 richest people.
Tesla's shares were recently trading at about USD 790, up more than 4 per cent in trading on Thursday. The company's market value has grown to USD 737.6 billion.
Tesla's rocketing share price which has increased more than nine-fold over the past year along with his generous pay package has added more than USD 150 billion to his net worth.
Tesla delivered 499,550 vehicles in 2020, slightly missing its most recent guidance of 5,00,000 vehicles. The company achieved the feat despite closing its new factory in China as well as its vehicle plant in Fremont, California for several weeks as the new coronavirus spread.
Musk also tweeted. "So proud of the Tesla team for achieving this major milestone! At the start of Tesla, I thought we had (optimistically) a 10% chance of surviving at all".
Elon Musk has proclaimed that he wants to increase Tesla`s vehicle sales volume from about 5,00,000 in 2020 to 20 million annually over the next decade. Late last month, he had told Tesla employees in an email to `go all out` in order to achieve the 5 lakh vehicle delivery goal.
Meanwhile, Amazon's share price has remained more subdued due to the potential for increased regulation from Washington.(With agency inputs)