Twitter CEO Elon Musk has become the first human in history to lose a net worth of $200 billion, Bloomberg reported.
Not too long ago, Musk became the second individual to amass a personal fortune of more than 200 billion dollars. This happened in January 2021, just months after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos accomplished the same feat.
Much of Musk’s lost billions have been swallowed up by the plummeting value of his shares in Tesla, the electric vehicle company of which he is CEO. That value has fallen 65% this year and plunged 11% last Tuesday alone, as Bloomberg noted on Friday.
Musk’s fortune to date peaked in November 2021 at $340 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. It’s now worth a not too shabby $137 billion, according to Bloomberg, but that’s still a steep drop from 2021.
Musk was the richest person in the world until earlier this month when he was overtaken by European fashion scion Bernard Arnault, the powerhouse of LVMH.
Musk’s challenges include huge controversies over his hands-on management of a struggling Twitter, for which he paid $44 billion. The self-proclaimed ‘free speech absolutist’ has been repeatedly criticized for arbitrarily firing journalists for actions he disapproves of, while allowing previously banned neo-Nazis to return to the social media platform.
The billionaire described financially troubled Twitter as “essentially…a plane heading for the ground at high speed with the engines on fire and the controls not working.”
The company is apparently so cash-strapped that Musk recently shut down servers supporting a Twitter data center in Sacramento. It also fired janitors at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, forcing some staff to bring their own toilet paper.
Tesla investors fear Musk’s over-involvement with Twitter could prevent him from addressing Tesla’s serious issues amid growing competition.
In a dramatic move, Tesla offered US consumers a $7,500 rebate on select car models before the end of the year. The company is also said to have cut production at its Shanghai factory.
The world’s billionaires collectively lost nearly $2 trillion in 2022, Forbes reported earlier this month. American billionaires lost a total of $660 billion, more than any other country, Forbes noted, and Musk lost the most.
(However, the loss occurred after the world’s billionaires added $5 trillion to their collective wealth between March 2020 and November 2021.)
Forbes attributed the losses in America to a fall in the value of tech stocks, rising interest rates, inflation and a weakening economy.