Elon Musk has broken the world record for the largest loss of personal wealth in history, it has been announced.
The Guinness Book of Records confirmed the SpaceX founder has become the new holder of the record, taking it from Japanese investor Masayoshi Son. It comes after Telsa stocks slumped in the second half of 2022, with the decline accelerating following his takeover of Twitter in October.
Shares fell again on Monday (2 January) by more than 12% on the first full day of trading since the company announced 2022 delivery numbers that fell short of targets. Tesla said on Monday that it sold a record 1.3 million vehicles last year, but the number fell short of chief executive ElonMusk’s pledge to grow deliveries by 50% nearly every year.
Musk has said he will not sell any more shares in Tesla for 18 months or more in an apparent attempt to comfort shareholders of the electric vehicle company who have watched the stock lose nearly half of its value since the CEO’s purchase of Twitter went through in October. “I’m not selling any stock for 18 to 24 months,” Musk said during an audio-only Twitter Spaces group conversation.
Here is all you need to know:
How much money has Elon Musk lost?
The Tesla chief executive, SpaceX founder and Twitter owner was considered the richest man in the world in recent years. However his personal fortune has fallen by as much as £167bn ($200bn) since November 2021, although it is almost impossible to confirm the exact number.
Musk’s personal wealth peaked at around £264bn ($320bn) in 2021, according to Forbes. A large part of his fortune is tied up in Tesla stocks, which have tumbled in recent months, falling to its lowest level since August 2020.
Tesla stock fell in value by 65% in 2022, which Musk responded to on 30 December tweeting: “Long-term fundamentals are extremely strong. Short-term market madness is unpredictable.”
What has the Guinness Book of Records said?
After announcing that Musk had gained the inglorious record of having lost the largest public fortune, passing the previous record of bn lost by Japanese tech investor Masayoshi Son in 2000, the records’ website said: “Despite the plunge in prosperity, Tesla remain the most valuable car company in the world, with a market cap over $100 billion larger than their closest competitor, Toyota. And don’t worry, even though Musk has lost more money than any human in history, he won’t be going hungry any time soon - he’s still the world’s second-richest person.”
Masayoshi Son lost $56bn at the turn of the millennium. The personal losses came when the stock market crashed, damaging the value of SoftBank - an investment company he founded. However his fortunes have turned around in the years since 2000, he now ranks 67th on Forbes list of The World's Billionaires 2022.
Who is the richest person in the world?
Elon Musk held the title in 2021 and for much of 2022, before the value of Tesla began to plunge. The title of the World’s Richest Person has now been bestowed upon Bernard Arnault, the head of luxury goods company LVMH, according to Forbes and Bloomberg.
National World has previously reported that Forbes estimates that Musk is currently worth around $178 billion (£144 billion). In contrast, Bernard Arnault is worth $188 billion (£152 billion). Bernard Arnault is a French business magnate, investor and art collector who is the co-founder, chairman and chief executive of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE, the world’s largest luxury goods company.
The company was formed in 1987 through the merger of fashion house Louis Vuitton with Moët Hennessy, itself established following the 1971 merger between champagne producer Moët & Chandon and cognac producer Hennessy. In 2021, with a valuation of $329 billion (£266 billion), LVMH became the most valuable company in Europe.