Shares of Musk’s electric-vehicle maker Tesla TSLA +6.9% rose by 7% as of 2:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, pushing Musk’s net worth up by $9.8 billion, to $175.2 billion. That makes him $22 billion richer than the planet’s third-wealthiest person, French luxury tycoon Bernard Arnault, but still $11 billion behind the world’s number one, Amazon AMZN +1.8% CEO Jeff Bezos. Forbes estimates that Bezos has a net worth of $186.8 billion.
Musk’s net worth has grown at an astronomical clip over the past year. He has added nearly $150 billion to his fortune since March 2020, when he was worth $24.6 billion. Much of that increase comes from Tesla’s skyrocketing share price, which rose more than 720% in 2020. It has gained another 10% so far over the first week of 2021.
As Tesla’s stock soared ahead of its inclusion in the S&P 500 Index on December 21, Musk surpassed Facebook FB +1.9% CEO Mark Zuckerberg (who is worth $98.2 billion today) to become the world’s fourth-richest person in early November, then leapfrogged Microsoft MSFT +3% cofounder Bill Gates (worth $121.9 billion today) for the number three spot.
Musk owns around 21% of Tesla’s shares, plus a stake in private rocket company SpaceX. Tesla stock still sits at record highs, now trading for over $800 per share. The company’s $765 billion market cap makes it by far the most valuable car company in the world.
-By Sergei Klebnikov, Forbes Staff