Tesla (TSLA) chief Elon Musk has become the richest person in the world, with a net worth of more than $185bn (£136bn).
Shares in Musk’s electric vehicle and clean energy company surged on Thursday pushing him past Amazon (AMZN) boss Jeff Bezos, who had been the world’s wealthiest person since 2017.
Bezos’ net worth currently stands at about $184bn.
Musk’s growth in fortune over the past year marks the fastest rise to the top of the rich list in history. Musk’s net worth at the beginning of 2020 was around $27bn, placing him just inside the list of the world’s top 50 richest people.
Musk passed business tycoon Warren Buffett in July to become the seventh richest person. In November, Musk pipped Microsoft (MSFT) founder Bill Gates to become the second richest person.
Tesla’s rocketing share price — which has increased more than nine-fold over the past year — as well as his salary as CEO of the company have added more than $150bn to Musk’s net worth over the past 12 months.
Amazon has been one of the winners of the coronavirus pandemic with the demand for online shopping and home delivery services surging in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdowns and social distancing restrictions around the world.
However, the company’s share price has remained more muted due to the potential for increased regulation in the US.
Tesla’s shares were trading at about $806, up more than 6% in trading on Thursday. The company’s market value has grown to $737.6bn, according to CNBC.
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While the Bloomberg Billionaires Index had Musk within $3 billion of Bezos’ net worth on Wednesday, before Thursday’s trading, the Forbes Real Time Billionaires List still had Musk about $14 billion behind Bezos after the market close Wednesday. Forbes pegged Bezos’ net worth at $186 billion and Musk at $172 billion. Forbes, however, may not be including the value of Musk’s options, which he received as part of his pay package, to buy more than 33 million shares of Tesla.