[Jan 9, 2021] Booming Tesla’s share price has raised Elon Musk’ personal net worth to $195 billion, $10 billion more than former world’s richest man Jeff Bezos. And when he heard the news, Musk replied in just 6 words, “How strange. Well, back to work…” That might seem like a pretty ho-hum reaction to becoming the world’s richest person. But it was a pitch-perfect answer, and a useful lesson in emotional intelligence for every leader.
You see, he knows just how random and changeable this bit of good news is, as is any news related to his companies’ share price. Tesla shares closed at more than $880 on the day I’m writing this piece, but less than two years ago they were worth about $38. (Go ahead and kick yourself if you didn’t buy any back then, I certainly am.)
As for Musk, It’s difficult to overstate just how new his membership is among the world’s wealthiest people. He gained $150 billion — more than three quarters of his mega-fortune — in the past year alone. Musk’s wealth surge over the past year marks the fastest rise to the top of the rich list in history — and is a dramatic financial turnaround for the outspoken entrepreneur who just 18 months ago was in the headlines for Tesla’s rapid cash burn and his personal leverage against the company’s stock.
Musk started 2020 worth about $27 billion, and was barely in the top 50 richest people. Tesla’s rocketing share price — which has increased more than ninefold over the past year — and his generous pay package have added more than $150 billion to his net worth.
Musk passed Warren Buffett in July to become the seventh-richest person. In November, Musk raced past Bill Gates to become the second-richest person. Musk has gained more wealth over the past 12 months than Gates’ entire net worth of $132 billion.
Tesla’s shares closed Thursday at $816.04, up nearly 8%. The company’s market value has grown to more than $760 billion.