Tesla Inc and SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has officially become the world’s second-richest person, surpassing Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates on Monday. The 49-year-old South African-born American entrepreneur billionaire hit this new apex after his net worth soared to $127.9 billion, driven by yet another surge in Tesla’s share price on Monday.
During January, Musk was at the 35th spot of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index–a ranking of the world’s 500 wealthiest people. His rise on the Index is largely driven by Tesla, whose market value is $491 billion.
Musk added $100.3 billion to his net worth in 2020, more than any other person on Bloomberg’s ranking of the top 500 richest people in the world, Bloomberg News reported. Musk remains behind Bezos who sits about $182 billion in net worth.
Gates have maintained the top spot in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index for years. However, in 2017, Amazon Inc founder Jeff Bezos briefly surpassed Gates, when the former’s net worth swelled to $90.6 billion.
Last year in November, Gates reclaimed the “richest person on earth” title after his net worth surged to $110 billion. At present, Gates’s net worth is $127.7 billion. It would be much higher had he not donated so extensively to charity over the years. He has given more than $27 billion to his namesake foundation since 2006. Meanwhile, Tesla shares rose 6 percent on Monday, approaching a $500 billion market value and extending gains to 27% since news a week ago that the electric car maker will debut in the S&P 500 in December.
Up about 500 percent in 2020, Tesla has become by far the world’s most valuable automaker, despite production that is a fraction of Toyota, Volkswagen, or General Motors. Tesla is now five times more valuable than General Motors and Ford combined. It is Wall Street’s seventh most valuable company, just behind Berkshire Hathaway and just ahead of Visa.