Elon Musk loses world's richest title to Jeff Bezos

Tesla's chief executive had $17.2 billion wiped from his net worth after shares in the electric vehicle maker fell

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For the first time in more than nine months, Elon Musk is no longer the world’s richest person.

Mr Musk lost his position on top of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index to Jeff Bezos after shares in Tesla fell 7.2 per cent on Monday, wiping $17.6 billion from his fortune.

Mr Musk now has a net worth of $197.7 billion, while Mr Bezos’ fortune is $200.3 billion, making him the sole member of the exclusive $200 billion club.

It’s the first time that Mr Bezos, 60, the founder of Amazon.com, has topped Bloomberg’s ranking of the richest people since 2021.

The gap between Mr Musk, 52, and Mr Bezos, which at one point was $142 billion, has been shrinking as Amazon and Tesla shares move in opposite directions.

While both are among the so-called Magnificent Seven stocks, Amazon shares have more than doubled since late 2022 and are nearing a high.

Tesla is down about 50 per cent from its 2021 peak.

Tesla shares fell after preliminary data showed shipments from its factory in Shanghai fell to the lowest in more than a year. Amazon, meanwhile, is coming off its best online sales growth since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Musk’s wealth could take a further hit after a US judge struck down his $55 billion pay package at Tesla, where he’s chief executive. The decision took the side of an investor who’d challenged Mr Musk’s compensation plan, which had been the largest in history.

Options that were included in the plan are one of Mr Musk’s largest assets, alongside his stakes in Tesla and SpaceX. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index continues to include them in its calculations of his wealth.

The majority of Mr Bezos’s fortune comes from his 9 per cent stake in Amazon. He is the online retailer’s largest shareholder, even after unloading 50 million shares worth about $8.5 billion last month.

Mr Bezos has been top of the wealth rankings previously. He first overtook Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates as the world’s richest person in 2017.

However, a rise in Tesla shares left Mr Bezos jockeying with Mr Musk for much of 2021 for the top spot. Late that year, he fell way behind until now.

Bernard Arnault, 74, chairman of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury goods maker, is ranked as the third-wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of $197 billion.

Updated: March 05, 2024, 12:25 PM