Elon Musk is officially the seventh richest person in the world, it has been confirmed.
The 49-year-old South African entrepreneur has seen stock prices for Tesla, the electric car company he founded in 2003, shoot up in recent weeks.Musk’s net worth increased by a staggering $6 billion (£4.75 billion) in just one day on Friday, making him worth $70.5 billion (£55.5 billion) in total.
He’s now richer than tycoon Warren Buffett, whose wealth has declined in recent years after giving away $37 billion (£29.3 billion) worth of stock since 2006.
Tesla is now the world’s most valuable car company, despite producing tiny numbers of actual vehicles compared to their competitors. Musk recently called Tesla’s enormous rise “irrational exuberance”.”The economy is grinding, slowing down, we’re lurching in and out of Covid, yet the tech market makes new highs every day,” he told Bloomberg Television.
“That’s a classic speculative bubble.”
Despite his recent wealth increase, Musk is far from the richest person on Earth. That title goes to Jeff Bezos, the 56-year-old founder and CEO of Amazon with a net worth of $189 billion (£149 billion).
Bezos and his company have come under scrutiny from critics in recent years for poor working conditions for employees.
Those criticisms have escalated during the coronavirus pandemic, with hundreds of warehouse workers striking to protest Amazon’s inadequate safety measures and refusal to grant paid sick leave.The second-wealthiest person in the world, Bill Gates, has also suffered a blow to his reputation since Covid-19 took hold.
The 64-year-old co-founder of Microsoft, with a net worth of £110 billion (£87 billion), has found himself at the centre of countless baseless conspiracy theories about coronavirus, spread through social media platforms like Facebook and TikTok.
Some people have accused Gates of leading a class of “global elites” who intentionally spread coronavirus as part of a grand scheme to reduce the world’s population, with tenuous links to 5G and even the Chinese Communist Party.
Other outlandish allegations involve the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the search for a coronavirus vaccine, with many “anti-vax” conspiracy theorists claiming the charity has been testing dangerous or deadly vaccines on children in Africa and India before rolling it out globally