Musk Is No Longer the World's Richest Man

His net worth has fallen more than $120B this year
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2022 2:22 PM CST
Elon Musk Loses 'World's Richest' Title
Elon Musk attends The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute benefit gala on May 2, 2022, in New York.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/File)

When Elon Musk announced his intention to buy Twitter in April, he said it wasn't about making money—and the acquisition definitely hasn't made him richer. After a steep decline in the value of Tesla stock, which accounts for most of his wealth, Musk is no longer the world's richest man, Fortune reports. According to the Forbes billionaires list, French business magnate Bernard Arnault, who briefly took the top spot last week, is now solidly in place as the world's wealthiest person, with an estimated fortune of of $188.6 billion, compared to $177.5 billion for Musk. The SpaceX, Tesla, and Twitter CEO's wealth is down more than $120 billion so far this year—which Fortune notes is more than Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' net worth; he's currently in fourth place with $115.7 billion.

Tesla stock is down almost 60% so far this year and is now trading at around $161, down from $381 when Musk first announced that he had acquired a large stake in Twitter. While the electric vehicle maker is dealing with numerous issues, analysts say the Twitter deal and Musk's erratic behavior on the platform have done a lot to weigh the stock down. "Musk has gone from a superhero to Tesla's stock, to a villain ... as the overhang grows with each tweet," Dan Ives from investment firm Wedbush Securities tells the BBC. "The Twitter circus show has hurt the Musk brand and it's a major overhang on Tesla's stock. Musk is Tesla and Tesla is Musk." Musk sold billions in Tesla shares to fund the acquisition.

Musk reached the top of the billionaires list almost two years ago, replacing Bezos, whose fortune has also significantly declined this year with a drop in Amazon stock, the Wall Street Journal reports. Arnault, chief executive of luxury goods group LVMH, may be on more solid ground than other mega-billionaires as the world's economic worries haven't had much effect on spending on luxury goods, the Journal notes. Gautam Adani, chairman of the Indian industrial conglomerate Adani Group, is in third place on the Forbes list with an estimated fortune of $134 billion. (More Elon Musk stories.)

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