Tesla founder responds to news saying: ‘How strange… well, back to work’
Elon Musk offered up an underwhelmed response to news that he has surpassed Amazon owner Jeff Bezos to become the richest man in the world, remarking: “How strange… well, back to work.”
Musk officially became the richest person on the planet after a surge in Tesla shares increased his net worth to more than $188.5 billion.
The push dethrones Bezos for the top spot, who is only worth $187 billion.
On Thursday morning, Musk’s electric car brand Telsa’s stock price jumped 6 percent, barely 24 hours after climbing to 4.6 percent following the first trading session of the year.
Including Thursday’s gains in Tesla shares, Musk’s net worth was bumped up to $1.5 billion above Bezos’, according to Bloomberg.
Bezos has held the title of the world’s wealthiest person since 2017 when he knocked Microsoft founder Bill Gates off the top spot.
And despite being the new titleholder, Musk appeared to brush off the news on Twitter Thursday morning.
The Twitter account for the Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley wrote: “@elonmusk is now the richest person in the world at $190 billion.”
In one tweet, Musk wrote: “How strange.”
He followed that tweet up with: “Well, back to work…”
The distinction is the latest superlative for the South African-born Musk, who also leads the aerospace venture SpaceX.
He has a 20 percent stake in the carmaker and about $42billion of unrealized paper gains on vested stock options, according to the Bloomberg report.
Tesla shares were up as much as 7.4 percent on Thursday at a record high of $811.61.
It comes after Musk overtook Bill Gates as the second-richest person in November, a significant jump for the entrepreneur who started off 2020 ranked 35.
Musk managed to increase his wealth by more than $146billion in the last 12 months, despite the economic downturn brought by the coronavirus pandemic.
Tesla reported a series of profitable quarters throughout 2020 and joined the S&P 500, establishing the company as one of the world’s most valuable businesses.
On Saturday, Tesla reported better-than-expected 2020 vehicle deliveries, driven by a steady rise in electric vehicle adoption, but narrowly missed its ambitious full-year goal during a punishing year for the global auto industry.
The company delivered 499,550 vehicles during 2020, above Wall Street estimates of 481,261 vehicles, according to Refinitiv data – but 450 units shy of CEO Elon Musk’s target of half a million vehicles.