Jeff Bezos has been dethroned as the world’s richest person. The title now belongs to Elon Musk, according to CNBC. The outlet reported on Jan. 7 that “Thursday’s increase in Tesla’s share price pushed” Elon past the 56-year-old Amazon founder. The Tesla CEO’s net worth is estimated to be more than $185 billion, while Bezos’ is about $184 billion, per CNBC. Bloomberg noted that Bezos would still “hold a wide lead” over Elon had it not been for his divorce from ex-wife MacKenzie Scott, which was finalized in 2019, and his philanthropy.
On Thursday morning, Elon, 49, responded to a tweet about him becoming the richest person. “How strange,” he tweeted. “Well, back to work…” Back in November, the billionaire surpassed Bill Gates to become the second wealthiest person.
Speaking to Business Insider in an interview published in December, Elon opened up about selling his properties, and the reason he is “accumulating wealth.” “I’ll have basically almost no possessions with a monetary value, apart from the stock in the companies. So, if things are intense at work, I like just sleeping in the factory or the office. And I obviously need a place if my kids are there. So, I’ll just rent a place or something. And a lot of the time it’s just me, so I don’t really need a big place,” he said.
Elon added, “Like the reason that I am accumulating wealth, if you will, which is really just stock in Tesla and SpaceX. The only publicly traded stock I own is Tesla. That‘s it. If Tesla and SpaceX go bankrupt, I will go bankrupt personally. One-hundred percent. But I also think, why should I try to have stock anyway. Why do I have all this stuff? Going back to what I was saying earlier, I think it is important for humanity to become a spacefaring civilization and a multiplanet species. And it’s going to take a lot of resources to build a city on Mars. I want to be able to contribute as much as possible to the city on Mars. That means just a lot of capital.”