Elon Musk now the world’s second richest person, worth $128bn as Tesla shares surge

Elon Musk has leapfrogged Bill Gates to become the world’s second richest person with a net worth of $128bn (£95.9bn) 

The billionaire, who founded electric car maker Tesla and rocket company SpaceX, saw his net worth soar by $7.2bn on Monday, driven by yet another surge in Tesla’s share price.  

So far this year, 49-year-old entrepreneur’s has added more than $100bn to his wealth, making him one of the biggest movers among the world’s richest billionaires.

Musk’s advance up the wealth ranks has been driven largely by Tesla, whose market value is approaching $500bn after its share price increased 500pc this year. One share in Tesla is now worth $522. 

About three-quarters of Mr Musk’s net worth is comprised of Tesla shares, which are valued more than four times as much as his stake in SpaceX.

The world’s richest man is still Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, who is worth an estimated $180bn, but Mr Musk is now worth more than Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, and Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, according to Bloomberg’s billionaire rankings. He has climbed from 35th in the rankings in January.

History of Tesla

Musk’s milestone marks only the second time in the index’s eight-year history that Gates has ranked lower than number two. He held the top spot for years before being bumped by Bezos in 2017. Gates’s net worth of $127.7bn would be much higher had he not donated so prodigiously to charity over the years. He has given more than $27bn to his namesake foundation since 2006.

Tesla has the highest value of any carmaker in the world, despite having this year produced under half a million of its electric cars. Its shares climbed a further 6.5pc overnight, pushing Mr Musk’s net worth up. Tesla was selected to join the US S&P 500 index, pushing shares higher.

Mr Musk will be due a huge stock award if Tesla’s share price continues to rise. He will earn a $56bn bonus if Tesla’s share price hits $650bn by 2028.

His other business venture, SpaceX, has continued to go from strength to strength, with its rocket business now a major supplier for NASA space missions. Earlier this month it launched four astronauts to the international space station in its crew capsule for the first time.

Mr Musk first cashed in when he made $165m out of the sale of PayPal to eBay in 2002, and went on to invest his fortune into rockets and electric cars

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