Elon Musk extends lead as world’s richest man with $300bn fortune as Tesla shares surge on record deliveries

Elon Musk’s estimated net worth has surged to more than $304bn, cementing his place at the top of the league of richest people in the world.

The jump in his total wealth comes on the back of a 13 per cent jump in the value of Telsa shares after the electric vehicle company reported a quarterly record for deliveries, adding $30bn to Mr Musk’s wealth.

Mr Musk first passed the $300bn threshold in November according to data compiled by Forbes making him the first person to reach that level of immense wealth.

Trailing the founder of Tesla and SpaceX by approximately $100bn in second place is LVMH’s Bernard Arnault.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, whom Mr Musk superseded is the world’s richest man in January 2021, is now in third place with a net worth of just under $200bn, a little behind Mr Arnault.

Tesla delivered 308,600 vehicles during the fourth quarter of 2021, far surpassing analysts’ projections. The car maker’s total deliveries for the year jumped 87 per cent to 936,172. Both the quarterly and full-year totals are new company records.

The company is now worth $1.2 trillion. Mr Musk sold more than $16bn in shares to cover tax obligations, saying in December he would pay more than $11bn in tax for 2021.

In October when Mr Bezos was still the second richest person in the world, Mr Musk tweeted a silver second-place medal emoji at him in response to a post in which the Amazon founder recalled the company’s early struggles to convince people it would be a success.

“Listen and be open, but don’t let anybody tell you who you are,” wrote Bezos. “This was just one of the many stories telling us all the ways we were going to fail. Today, Amazon is one of the world’s most successful companies and has revolutionized two entirely different industries.”

Mr Musk’s fortune is now so great that it is approximately the combined total of Mr Bezos’ fortune plus one of several of the other mainstays of the top 10 richest men in the world: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (7th place, $117.8bn); Google’s Sergey Brin (8th place, $117.3bn); or legendary investor Warren Buffet (9th place, $114bn)

Filling out the top ten are Microsoft’s Bill Gates (4th place, $137bn); software magnate Larry Ellison (5th place, $122bn); Google’s Larry Page (6th place, $121bn); and Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer (10th place, $102bn).

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