Elon Musk, the Tesla and SpaceX CEO, is worth $188.5 billion, making him the richest person in the world

By Jen Juneau
January 07, 2021 12:03 PM
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Elon Musk (L); Jeff Bezos
| Credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty; John Shearer/Getty

Elon Musk is officially the wealthiest person in the world.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO, 49, surpassed Jeff Bezos on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index Thursday, with a total net worth of $188.5 billion  — $1.5 billion more than the net worth of the Amazon founder and CEO.

Bloomberg reported that Musk's ascension into the top spot is thanks to a 4.8 percent increase in Tesla's share price on Thursday. The outlet added that that Bezos, 56, had held on to the "world's richest person" title for more than three years before being unseated by Musk.

Rounding out the top five are Microsoft mogul Bill Gates at No. 3 with $132 billion, LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault at No. 4 with $114 billion and Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg at No. 5 with $99.9 billion.

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Elon Musk
| Credit: Jeff Vespa/WireImage
Jeff Bezos
| Credit: Greg Doherty/Getty

Musk responded to the milestone moment on Twitter Thursday in response to a user who tweeted the news.

"How strange," he wrote. "Well, back to work ..."

Musk's new position comes less than two months after he overtook Gates, 65, as the second-richest person in the world, with his net worth rising by $7.2 billion at the time. Last year, Musk's net worth rose by $100.3 billion total. He was ranked 35th on the list last January, according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg reported back in November that Musk's financial surge came as Tesla's market share hit $500 billion, an all-time high for the electric automaker company.

In 2020 alone, the company's stock was up by more than 490 percent as of Nov. 19, according to CNBC. Bloomberg reported that number as 743 percent by the end of last year.

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Musk, a father of six, is also the chairman of the Musk Foundation and oversees SpaceX, which launched two trips into space last year.

Gates' net worth would likely be higher if not for his philanthropy. In 2020, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced a donation of $125 million toward potential COVID-19 vaccines.

Bezos also made a hefty contribution around the same time, donating $100 million to Feeding America, a hunger relief organization, in order to help families who rely on food banks and have been majorly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.