How Elon Musk became the richest person in the world

Musk, who is richer than Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, is said to have completed the Twitter acquisition. You could see Donald Trump return to the social media platform

Over the past 10 years, everything the eccentric businessman said or did, including smoking weed on Joe Rogan’s podcast and making controversial comments about the Russo-Ukrainian War, became world news in a matter of minutes. This level of fame (or infamy) also saw his private life fizzle out.

Elon Musk has a vast business empire that includes Tesla and SpaceX (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

What is the background of Elon Musk?

Elon Musk was born to a wealthy family in Pretoria, South Africa in 1971. His mother, Maye, is a Canadian nutritionist and model, while his father, Errol, is an engineer. While Musk remains close to his mother, it is understood that his relationship with his father is strained.

Erol Musk has a strained relationship with his son (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

It was Elon Musk It is said to be good with computers As a kid and designed a video game at just 12 years old. He left for Canada when he was 17 to avoid military service under apartheid – he initially studied at Queen’s University, Ontario before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania in the US in 1992.

With a degree in Physics and Business under his belt, Mr. Musk briefly enrolled for a Ph.D. in Physics at Stanford University, California. But he left work to create the Zip2 online business directory with his younger brother Kimball in 1995. The pair sold the company in 1999 for $307 million, and Musk himself received $22 million from the deal.

Elon Musk is still close to his mother Maye – pictured right (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

In 2021, Elon Musk revealed that he had Asperger’s syndrome – a condition that means he interprets the world around him differently than most other people. It partially explains why his behavior can seem unusual at times.

How did Elon Musk make his money?

Unlike most other billionaires, Elon Musk reaped the bulk of his fortune through several successful business ventures. Most of the world’s other billionaires have relied on one big success, like Jeff Bezos from Amazon or Mark Zuckerberg fromacebook.

After selling Zip2, Musk went into online banking and payments with controversial and liberal businessman Peter Thiel. The pair set up what would eventually become the PayPal payments platform.

A photo of young Elon Musk before Tesla put a car into mass production (Image: Getty Images)

His stake in the company raked in $180 million when eBay acquired PayPal in 2009. But while Elon Musk has been making money so far on Earth, he was already eyeing the stars. He founded SpaceX in 2002 with the ambition to colonize Mars with affordable rockets – a dream he could soon realize.

A year later, he invested $6 million in Tesla even though the company didn’t even produce a real car. The two companies initially struggled, but SpaceX took off in 2008 after signing a $1.6 billion deal with NASA, and Tesla’s first vehicle – the Model S – entered mass production in 2012.

SpaceX is now a major part of NASA’s operations after it has mastered making spaceflight more accessible to everyone (Image: Getty Images)

SpaceX is now a major partner in NASA’s missions, while you can see Tesla cars on the streets all over the world as people become more environmentally conscious. The latter’s share price pushed Elon Musk’s net worth into the stratosphere. In 2021, the car company tripled in value to more than $1 trillion (£870 billion) – although it is now around $690 billion (£604 billion).

He owned between 17% and 21% of the company’s stock before launching the Twitter purchase – a stake that is currently valued in the region at $150bn (£131bn). However, he sold nearly $8.5 million (£7.4 billion) of his stake in Tesla to fund his purchase of the platform.

Meanwhile, Musk’s 48% stake in the $100 billion (£ 87 billion) SpaceX makes up most of his fortune.

Tesla is currently worth over $1 trillion (Image: Getty Images)

Elon Musk has also started two other businesses in recent times. The Boring Company is a company that digs big holes in the ground, while Neuralink aims to develop telepathic links to machines – an innovation that could transform the lives of people with neurological disorders or serious spinal injuries.

The clearest Elon Musk purchase on Twitter

On April 4, Elon Musk bought a 9.1% stake in Twitter before announcing a takeover offer a few days later. It later turned out that the entrepreneur had been quietly buying shares since January.

The social media giant’s board initially sought to halt the takeover in a move it indicated they viewed as a hostile takeover. But as shareholder pressure mounted, Twitter executives made a drastic turn – agreeing to sell the company to Musk for $44bn (£38.5bn) on April 25.

Elon Musk commented on the acquisition on Twitter (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

However, this move was just the beginning of what would soon turn into a drawn-out saga. On July 8, nearly two months after threatening to end the acquisition, Elon Musk said he was pulling the plug on the deal due to the number of fake or spam accounts present on the platform.

At the time, there was speculation that the acquisition was only launched to destabilize Twitter, or to get it to reconsider its policies on free speech. Mr. Musk hinted at his opinions on Site hate speech policies In a series of tweets posted on April 26, he also said earlier that his purchase was an attempt to “own libies” – that is, to demoralize people who are politically central or left-of-centre.

Trump, who used his Twitter account to denounce his critics and declare politics on the hoof during his time in office, had previously said he would not reactivate his account. He is now posting his latest thoughts on his social media app, Truth Social.

Donald Trump used his Twitter account to undermine the outcome of the 2020 US election (Image: Getty Images)

In July, Twitter sued Musk in a lawsuit that would have either forced him to pursue the acquisition or pay a hefty fine. Since the acquisition began, Twitter has halted hiring, laid off workers, halted discretionary spending, and fired two of its top managers.

On Wednesday (October 26), Musk tweeted a video showing him walking into Twitter HQ holding a sink, before reports emerged onriday (October 28) that the acquisition had been completed. That date was the deadline for the takeover, with Musk facing a trial had it not moved forward.

Parag Agrawal (left) has been fired as Twitter CEO by Elon Musk (Image: Getty Images)

In addition to changes made to Twitter’s operations behind the scenes, Elon Musk could also be set to expand it to areas beyond publishing. Mr. Musk said earlier that he wanted it create something called “X”, Which will work in a similar way to the Chinese app WeChat.

Basically, Twitter can become a place where you can buy food, pay your taxi fare or a game. Such a move could significantly increase the revenue that Twitter generates because it would allow it to sell more user data for advertising purposes – a business model similar to the owner ofacebook Meta.

Why is Elon Musk controversial?

Elon Musk is a divisive character – loved by people who love his maverick streak, and hated by those who despise his opinions and wealth. In addition to his stance on free speech, recent controversies over Musk include downplaying the severity of the Covid-19 virus and reports of a poor work culture at Tesla – allegations that Musk denies. He has also been criticized for stunts, including running a Twitter poll on how to secure peace in Ukraine.

There’s no doubting Elon Musk’s success in business, but his choppy personality has stirred controversy in the business world (Image: Getty Images)

In addition to these statements, Musk has been heavily criticized for his opposition to higher tax rates for the rich. His comments came despite an investigation by a news website ProPublica I found that he paid an unusually low rate between 2014 and 2018.

While the success of his business is not in doubt, Musk’s erratic public behavior in recent years has also led to several notable gaffes that have cost him and his investors millions of dollars. He was one of the most famous when he was Smoking weed during a video podcast interview With Joe Rogan in 2018 – destroying Tesla stock by more than 9%.

Elon Musk has significantly increased Tesla’s value in recent years, but has also cost investors money with its overall performance (Image: AFP/Getty Images)

It also led to a fight with the US Securities and Exchange Commission – a government body that regulates stock market activity – which accused Musk of providing misleading information about his intentions.

The richest man in the world, Elon Musk

The Securities and Exchange Commission has since opened another investigation On whether Mr Musk and his brother violated insider trading laws after he posted a poll on Twitter in November 2021 asking his followers if he should sell some of his stake in Tesla. The poll came just hours after his brother sold $108 million of Tesla stock.

Musk made a clear reference to cannabis again in his Twitter acquisition, citing a price of $54.20 per share.

What is Elon Musk’s net worth?

According toorbes, As of October 28, Elon Musk’s net worth is $221.5 billion (£192.1 billion). The number often changes because Musk’s wealth is mostly related to his stake in Tesla, which goes up and down depending on the markets.

To put his wealth into perspective, Elon Musk is worth more than the gross domestic product (GDP) of more than 150 countries and territories, according to Latest World Bank data. This includes the GDP of countries such as Portugal, New Zealand, and Iran. Musk’s fortune equates to just under 10% of the UK’s GDP.

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