Elon Musk Surpassed Bill Gates as Second-Richest Person in the World

Elon Musk stole Bill Gates' place after a major surge in Tesla stocks amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Brad Bergan

Days after surging past Mark Zuckerberg in the ranks of the richest people alive — billionaire and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has surpassed Bill Gates as the world's second-richest person in the world, according to rankings in the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.


Elon Musk beats out Bill Gates, becomes second-richest in world

Elon Musk's net worth soared to more than $7.2 billion on Nov. 23, propelled via a surge in Tesla share price, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index. Musk's current net worth stands at $128 billion.

This is one of the most substantial gains in the ranking of the world's richest 500 people — as the Tesla CEO has amassed more than $100.3 billion so far in 2020, Business Insider reports. To put his velocity in perspective, Musk was ranked 35th in January.

Gates' donations to charities relevant to Musk's rise

Roughly three-quarters of Musk's net worth subsists in Tesla shares, which are roughly four times the value of his stake in SpaceX. This latest milestone is the second time in the Bloomberg Index's eight-year run for the Microsoft Corp. co-founder to lose his second-place space.

Gates had the top rank for years before he was dethroned in 2017 — when Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos took it from him. Gates' net worth is sitting at $127.7 as of writing, but would be much higher if not for his large donations to various organizations through the intervening years — he's given more than $27 billion to The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation since 2006, reports the LA Times.

Billionaires gain $1.3 trillion, many working-class layoffs

Notably, Gates and Musk have come to virtual blows on Twitter, where the Tesla CEO has ridiculed Gates for, among several things, having "no clue" how to understand electric trucks. They've also disagreed about the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Gates, whose philanthropic charity has become one of the largest funders of vaccine research, has voiced concern regarding Musk's skepticism regarding data on the coronavirus crisis — and apparent embrace of eccentric "conspiracy theories," LA Times reports.

Beyond the obvious hardships, this year has been a weird one for the richest people in the world. The COVID-19 coronavirus crisis has led to major layoffs — leaving many working-class and poor without work. Meanwhile, the Bloomberg Index members have collectively amassed 23% — roughly $1.3 trillion — since the start of 2020.

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