The chief executive of electric car brand Tesla, Elon Musk, is on course to displace Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg as the third most affluent person, following a 13% leap in his company shares in reaction to Tesla’s selection for a place in the S&P 500 index of top United States firms.
Musk’s wealth is said to be in the neighbourhood of $117.5 billion, drawing strength from an approximately 500% rise in Tesla’s share value since the year began.
The development puts 49-year old Musk in the third position on the list of the richest people ahead of the Facebook founder, who is 36.
Musk is currently fourth on the ladder with $102 billion, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which has not factored in the 12% increase that occurred during prolonged trading after the curtains were drawn on Monday trade session.
Musk holds 20% of Tesla’s shares and established Space X, a rocket company. He has seen a $90 billion addition to his wealth this year.
A further upward drift in the shares of the automobile manufacturer puts him in a good spot for a bonus deal that might earn him an unprecedented $55.8 billion.
But he has to grow Tesla to a $650 billion company by 2028 to reap the maximum payout. It is valued at a little under $400 billion, having expanded from $54.6 billion when the scheme was created in 2018.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos with $184 billion and Bill Gates, Microsoft’s principal founder with $129 billion are the only two people in the world richer than Musk. $50 billion of Gates’ wealth has gone to philanthropic causes for poverty alleviation and the fight against diseases.
Shares in Tesla rose from $409 to $460 in aftermarket trading on Monday on the heels of reports of its entry into the S&P 500, timed to take place on 21st December.