Elon Musk, the South Africa-born American CEO of electric car company, Tesla, has become the world’s richest man.
Musk overtook Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, on Thursday, following a 4.8 percent surge in Tesla’s share price.
The 49-year-old had his net worth rise $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, according to Bloomberg Billionaire index.
About an hour later, Musk’s wealth climbed to $190 billion, following a surge in Tesla’s share price to $802 per share from only $92 a year ago.
As Musk and Bezos race to the $200 billion-mark, Bill Gates, the world’s richest man for almost 20 years, sits at a distant third with $132 billion.
In 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Musk overtook Gates to become the second richest man in the world.
For the first seven days of 2021, Musk has gained about $11.4 billion to leave both Gates and Bezos in the second and third positions.
Musk owns about 20% of Tesla, according to a February 2020 stock exchange filing. The company’s market cap is about $758 billion.
He is also the CEO of Space Exploration Technologies, a rocket manufacturer employed by NASA to resupply the space station.
The company is worth almost $50 billion and Musk holds more than half of its shares.