Musk and Bezos
Tesla/SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, left, and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (Musk Photo: TED via YouTube; Bezos Photo: GeekWire / Kevin Lisota)

Elon Musk appears to have passed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as the richest person on the planet as the Tesla CEO’s net worth reached around $185 billion on Thursday thanks to a surge in the electric car company’s stock.

Tesla’s stock was trading around $800 a share early Thursday, up as much as 6%. Musk owns about 20% of the company.

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index had Bezos on top at $184 billion on Wednesday, and Musk at $181 billion. But Thursday’s activity around Amazon and Tesla stocks had the two trading places with $4 billion changes in net worth.

Musk tweeted “how strange” about the development.

(Twitter screenshot)


Musk, who is also CEO of SpaceX, has rocketed to his position among the world’s richest people, adding more than $150 billion to his net worth over the past year, according to CNBC. He passed Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates as the second richest person in November.

Bezos and Musk have traded barbs over the years as they compete for more than billionaire status. Amazon has invested heavily in Rivian, an electric vehicle maker which could produce 100,000 vans for the company’s delivery fleet. That sets up a rivalry with Tesla, Musk’s electric car company.

And SpaceX, which is competing against Amazon’s Project Kuiper satellite program, has had at least three spats with Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture. One involved a launchpad lease with NASA; another was over a patent for a water-based recovery pad for rockets; and a third was a Twitter dust-up over the landings of rockets by the two space rivals.

Last June, Musk tweeted that it was “time to break up Amazon.”

In August, Bezos became the first person to cross into $200 billion net worth territory, thanks to a surge in Amazon stock at the time.