SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Elon Musk is the richest person in the world.
That’s according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, which estimated Musk’s personal wealth at $222 billion, edging out Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who trails Musk with $191.6 billion.
Bezos on Monday shared a 1999 cover story from Barron’s titled “Amazon.bomb,” which predicted Amazon’s stock price would come down and the real champions of the “Internet boom” would be “firms that sell their own products directly.”
Bezos shared the cover story with an inspirational message that said in part, “Listen and be open, but don’t let anybody tell you who you are.”
In response, Musk tweeted a second-place medal.
Musk has since gained $8.6 billion since Friday’s closing and more than $52 billion year-to-date, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index says.
CNN reports Musk received $0 in pay in 2020 according to a company filing, but received stock options during that year that are now worth $22 billion.
Musk and Bezos are both in a race to space.
NASA in April awarded the $2.9 billion contract for a lunar lander to SpaceX, which also offered a cheaper price than the bids from Bezos’ Blue Origin, as well as Dynetics Inc., a subsidiary of Leidos. The two losing companies appealed the contract to the Government Accountability Office on the grounds that there should have been multiple contracts and that the proposals weren’t evaluated correctly, but the agency rejected their request.
A June ProPublica report found that some billionaires, including Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, pay minimal income tax compared to the vast majority of Americans, despite their immense wealth. Nothing revealed in the report was illegal.
Last week, Musk announced Tesla will relocate its headquarters from Palo Alto to Austin, Texas, though the electric car marker will keep expanding its manufacturing capacity in California.
Musk, who last year said he was moving to Texas from California, gave no timeline for the move when he addressed shareholders at Tesla’s annual meeting.
In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Musk clashed with Bay Area health authorities trying to enforce shelter-in-place orders.
During that time, Musk threatened to relocate Tesla’s operations to Texas or Nevada.
On Thursday, however, Musk cited the cost of housing in the Bay Area that has made it tough for many to become homeowners, translating into long commutes.
“We’re taking it as far as possible, but there’s a limit how big you can scale it in the Bay Area,” he said Thursday. “Just to be clear, though, we will be continuing to expand our activities in California. This is not a matter of leaving California.”
Musk stressed he plans to expand the company’s factory in Fremont, California, where Tesla’s Models S, X, Y, and 3 vehicles are built, in hopes of increasing its output by 50%.
“Mr. Musk’s announcement highlights yet again the urgency for California to address our housing affordability crisis and the many other challenges that make it so difficult for companies to grow here,” said Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the business advocacy group Bay Area Council.
Last year, tech giant Oracle Corp. decided to move its headquarters from Silicon Valley to Austin, saying the move would give its employees more flexibility about where and how they work.
One of Silicon Valley’s founding companies, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, has also said it will move to the Houston area.
The company’s sales from July through September beat Wall Street estimates of 227,000 sales worldwide, according to data provider FactSet.
Third-quarter sales rose 72% over the 140,000 deliveries Tesla made for the same period a year ago.
So far this year, Tesla has sold around 627,300 vehicles. That puts it on pace to soundly beat last year’s total of 499,550.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.