The skyrocketing price of Tesla shares pushed Elon Musk's wealth past that of Jeff Bezos on Thursday, crowning a new richest person in the world. Musk is now listed as being worth $185 billion, a billion more than Amazon's Bezos, CNBC reports. It's not exactly a rags-to-riches story, but Musk began 2020 with wealth of about $27 billion, barely putting him in the top 50. As the CEO's shareholdings climbed in value, he passed Warren Buffett in July, moving into the seventh spot, and Bill Gates in November, becoming No. 2. Tesla stock is worth nine times what it was a year ago, reaching $800 a share by midday Thursday, a 5% rise.
Some of his competitors would rank higher if they hadn't given so much away. Buffett donated $2.9 billion last summer to nonprofits, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, per the New York Times. Since 2006, Buffett's gifts of Berkshire Hathaway stock total $37 billion. The two billionaires started the Giving Pledge, which encourages the wealthiest to give away at least half of their wealth during their lifetimes. But there's been criticism that the donations provide tax breaks and that the billionaires' wealth is accumulating faster than they're giving it away, per Inc. (MacKenzie Scott, Bezos' ex-wife, is donating much of her fortune.)