Elon Musk Overtakes Bill Gates as World’s Second-Richest Person

As the company he founded continues to surge in value, the Tesla CEO’s net worth has risen above $127 billion.

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk became the world’s second-richest man this week, shunting Microsoft founder Bill Gates to the number three spot.

The change in position followed a Tesla share price surge on 23 November, driving Musk’s net worth more than $7.2 billion higher, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index. His net worth currently stands at around $127.9 billion.

Tesla is edging closer to a market cap of $500 billion, with significant recent gains stemming from the announcement of the company’s expected listing on the S&P 500 in December. The company has had a boom year, with share value having increased by almost 500% since 2019. It is now the most valuable automaker in the world, ahead of traditional giants like General Motors and Volkswagen.

Musk’s personal wealth has grown alongside his company’s, with the CEO adding over $100.3 billion to his net worth this year. In January, he ranked 35th among the world’s wealthiest.

Bill Gates’ current net worth stands at around $127.7 billion. Had he not donated extensively to various charities over the years – with more than $27 billion of his personal wealth having been pledged to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation since 2006 – it is likely that Gates would remain in the number two spot today.

Gates remained the world’s richest person for years before his net worth was surpassed by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in 2017. Bloomberg estimates Bezos’s current net worth as being around $183 billion – having briefly risen above $200 billion this year.

2020 has seen a massive increase in billionaires’ fortunes, particularly in the tech sector, as the COVID-19 pandemic has increased reliance on eCommerce. Since 2019, members of the Bloomberg Index have collectively gained $1.3 trillion.

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