Elon Musk Overtakes Mark Zuckerberg to Become Third-Richest Person in the World

Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk has now surpassed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to become the third-richest person in the world.

Musk now has a total net worth of $115 billion compared to Zuckerberg's $111 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which provides a daily ranking of the Earth's richest people, updated at the close of every New York trading day.

Yesterday, Forbes reported that Musk had officially become the fifth centibillionaire in the world, meaning he had amassed a wealth of at least $100 billion. According to the index, the 49-year-old's net worth has increased $87 billion in the past year.

Tesla's stock has enjoyed an unprecedented surge throughout this year and continued to rise on Monday following a five-to-one stock split, which grew the number of shares owned by each stockholder while making them more accessible to investors.

The move, which came into effect yesterday, gifted Tesla stockholders four additional shares for every one owned, without changing the overall value of their holding. It reduces the cost of buying shares, resulting in higher purchasing.

Tesla said in an SEC filing today that it was now planning to sell up to $5 billion worth of new stock. Musk's electric car firm now has a market capitalization of roughly $460 billion, of which the boss is said to own about 21 percent.

"We intend to use the net proceeds, if any, from this offering to further strengthen our balance sheet, as well as for general corporate purposes," Tesla said in the filing.

Tesla's value has spiked as anticipation grows for its "battery day" event, scheduled to take place on September 22 and promises to show off innovations on the technology that is used to power its vehicles, potentially a "million mile" power source.

Musk has had a busy year, not only maintaining Tesla during the COVID-19 pandemic but playing a key role—via his space rocket company SpaceX—in sending two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). Last week, he showed off new tech called Neuralink that aims to merge the human brain with AI capabilities.

While he has overtaken Zuckerberg, at least for now, Musk's net worth still trails that of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who holds roughly $125 billion, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, believed to be the first person to ever be worth over $200 billion.

On Monday, Bezos's ex-wife MacKenzie Scott became the world's richest woman, with the Bloomberg Billionaires Index showing she is now worth over $66.4 billion.

Despite his inclusion on the rich list, Musk has previously shown very little interest in such values, telling Forbes in a statement: "I really couldn't care less. These numbers rise and fall, but what really matters is making great products that people love."

Elon Musk
Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX, participates in a press conference at the Kennedy Space Center on May 27, 2020 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Saul Martinez/Getty