The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
SA-born billionaire Elon Musk now sits at the top of an esteemed pile. The 50-year old is now the world’s richest person – something he hasn’t let Amazon founder Jeff Bezos forget. Now worth U$222 billion, his fortune has more than doubled on the past year, surpassing his Amazon counterpart’s still-impressive U$191 billion. Musk became Tesla’s chairman (and its largest shareholder) when he invested U$6.5 million into the company in 2004. 16 years on, it is now one of the world’s most valuable brands. Credited with changing the way consumers thought of electric cars, Musk introduced a range of stylish luxury cars that were innovative and desirable. Cars like the Model S took on stalwarts like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and – while it had teething problems – was a credible alternative to the ubiquitous luxury car brands. Tesla is sold in most large markets, but is yet to be introduced to South Africa. – Jarryd Neves
Full membership of The Wall Street Journal is bundled with subscriptions to BizPremium, which also includes access to a weekly webinar with top SA stock market experts, an exclusive monthly update on the top performing BizNews Share portfolio, an interactive WhatsApp group and Alec Hogg’s daily Rational Perspective newsletter. All for just R105 (£4.99) a month – for more details click here.
Use Spotify? Access BizNews podcasts here.
Use Apple Podcasts? Access BizNews podcasts here.
Elon Musk Is the World’s Richest Person. He Likes to Brag to Jeff Bezos About It, Too.
Mr. Musk replied to Amazon founder on Twitter with a silver medal emoji, an apparent reference to their wealth
Elon Musk is currently the world’s richest person. He doesn’t want Jeff Bezos to forget it.
The Tesla Inc. chief executive on Monday replied to a tweet from Mr. Bezos with an emoji showing a silver medal with the number 2 on it. Mr. Musk’s reply appeared to be a reference to how Mr. Bezos is the second-richest person in the world, behind Mr. Musk himself.
Mr. Musk’s tweet responded to one from Mr. Bezos, founder of Amazon.com Inc. , which referenced an article from 1999 that doubted the tech giant’s business model.
“Listen and be open, but don’t let anybody tell you who you are,” Mr. Bezos wrote in his tweet on Sunday night. “Today, Amazon is one of the world’s most successful companies and has revolutionized two entirely different industries.”
Mr. Musk’s estimated net worth was $222 billion as of Friday. It has more than doubled over the past year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Mr. Bezos has an estimated net worth of $191 billion.
Messrs. Musk and Bezos didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Earlier this year, Mr. Musk overtook Mr. Bezos as the world’s richest person, primarily driven by a sharp rise in the value of Tesla and his private rocket company SpaceX.
The two have gone back and forth as the world’s richest people in recent months, pitting two of the tech industry’s biggest rivals against one another. Establishing the exact net worth of the world’s wealthiest can be tricky, in part because many of their holdings are private.
Messrs. Musk and Bezos have previously taken jabs at one another. Mr. Musk questioned Amazon’s power over book publishing, calling it a monopoly. Mr. Bezos has joked about Mr. Musk’s interest in colonizing the planet Mars.
Amazon last year bought a self-driving-car startup that would compete with Tesla.
Messrs. Musk and Bezos also compete in space. Mr. Bezos owns the privately held rocket company Blue Origin LLC. In July, Mr. Bezos and three passengers reached the edge of space in the New Shepard, a flight that was part of the company’s broader mission to expand human space travel.
Blue Origin has faced criticism over safety and alleged instances of sexual harassment. U.S. aviation regulators said last month that they were reviewing a letter signed by a former employee at Mr. Bezos’ space company that claims the company gave priority to speed over safety on some of its rockets.
Mr. Bezos’s tweet on Sunday was in reference to a cover story from Barron’s that was published in 1999. Barron’s is owned by Dow Jones & Company, Inc., which also owns The Wall Street Journal.
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.