Tesla and and SpaceX boss,Elon Musk has beaten Amazon CEO,Jeff Bezos to the record of the world’s most richest man,according to reports on Thursday.
The outspoken and task-daring Musk, is a major shareholder of Tesla electric car company and has benefited from its surging share price over the last year. CNBC estimated his wealth at $185 billion.
The difference is the latest feat for the South African-born Musk, who also leads the aerospace venture SpaceX.
Musk had since hit a high mark after stumbling in 2018, when US securities regulators required the Tesla chief to step down as chairman and pay $20 million to settle charges he defrauded investors with false claims on Twitter in August about a possible bid to take the company private, which was quickly aborted.
Musk also was embroiled in a messy public fight over his comments about a British caver, who had mocked the Tesla CEO’s offer of a mini-submarine to rescue young soccer players trapped in a cave in Thailand in the summer of 2018.
The caver, Vernon Unsworth, sued Musk after the Tesla chief called him “pedo guy” on social media, but a California jury in December 2019 ruled the remark was not defamation.
Musk put these controversies behind him last year as Tesla significantly boosted output at car factories in California and Shanghai and moved ahead to build new factories in Texas and Germany.
Tesla watchers do not think Musk will be able to match the massive valuation surge in 2021, but expect continued progress as the carmaker adds production capacity and pushes the envelope on new technologies, including autonomous autos.
Shares of Tesla surged 6.3 percent to $803.78 in late morning trading, lifting the company’s market capitalization above $750 billion.
Musk holds about 21 percent of Tesla’s shares, according to a securities filing.