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The 10 Richest People in the World

The 10 Richest People in the World

2. Elon Musk

  • Age: 50
  • Residence: Austin, Texas
  • Co-founder and CEO: Tesla (TSLA)
  • Net Worth: $151 billion
  • Tesla Ownership Stake: 20% ($125 billion)
  • Other Assets: Space Exploration Technologies ($29.8 billion private assets) and The Boring Company ($101 million private assets)

Elon Musk has had his hands in several different companies over the years. Originally enrolled at Stanford University, Musk deferred his attendance to launch Zip2, one of the earliest online navigation services. A portion of the proceeds from this endeavor was then reinvested to create X.com, an online payment system that later became PayPal. While both of these systems were eventually sold to other companies, Musk has maintained his status as CEO and lead designer of his third project, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), which aims to make space exploration more affordable.

In 2004, Musk became a major funder of Tesla Motors (now Tesla), which led to him being retroactively declared a cofounder and his current position as CEO of the electric vehicle company. In addition to its line of electric automobiles—which include sedans, sport utility vehicles (SUVs), and the “Cybertruck” announced in 2019—Tesla also produces energy storage devices, automobile accessories, merchandise, and, through its acquisition of SolarCity in 2016, solar power systems.

In 2020, Tesla’s stock price experienced an astronomical surge, having risen 705% from the start of the year to mid-December. It joined the S&P 500 that same month, the largest company added thus far.

In 2016, Musk founded two more companies, Neuralink and The Boring Company, with him serving as the CEO of the former. Neuralink is developing brain-machine interface devices to help individuals suffering from paralysis and potentially allow users to mentally interact with their computers and mobile devices. The Boring Company, meanwhile, develops boring machines for the purpose of drilling tunnels for underground public transportation systems, which would mitigate traffic congestion in major cities. It also (briefly) sold a handheld flamethrower.

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