Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, on Thursday displaced Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, as the world’s richest person just as Nigeria’s Aliko Dangote, maintained his spot as Africa’s richest man.
Despite his recent dating scandal nonetheless, Dangote remains Africa’s richest man and the richest black man in the world for nine years in a row, with a net worth of more than $10 billion.
Musk, 49, overtook Bill Gates in November, 2020, to become the second-richest person in the world.
The news comes as Tesla shares continue to surge in 2021.
Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 wealthiest people, estimated Musk’s net worth at $181 billion on Wednesday, about $3 billion behind Bezos.
Musk, who was born to a Canadian mother and South African father and raised in Pretoria, responded to the news on Twitter, tweeting “how strange” and that it was time to get “back to work.”
The wealth estimates are largely based on Musk and Bezos’ stock holdings in Tesla and Amazon, respectively.
Musk also pinned a 2018 tweet of his to his account wherein he noted that half of his earnings is “to help problems on Earth and the other half will go towards establishing a self-sustaining city on Mars”.
Bloomberg said the South Africa-born engineer’s net worth was ‘‘$188.5 billion at 10:15 a.m. in New York, $1.5 billion more than Bezos, who has held the top spot since October 2017’’.
As chief executive officer of Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, Musk is also a rival to Bezos, owner of Blue Origin LLC, in the private space race. Musk recently welcomed a child with his lover, Canadian singer, Grimes.
According to Bloomberg, Bezos would still have retained his position had it not been for his divorce, which saw him cede about a quarter of his Amazon stake to his ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott.
Bezos and Scott divorced in 2019 after the Amazon founder disclosed he was having an affair with former TV anchor, Lauren Sánchez.
Scott walked away the biggest settlement ever awarded in a marital split: $38 billion in Amazon stocks.