Twitter CEO Elon Musk has become the first person in history to lose a net worth of $200 billion, Bloomberg reported.
It wasn’t that long ago that Musk became the second person ever accumulate a personal fortune of over $200 billion. This happened in January 2021, a few months after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos achieved the same feat.
Many of Musk’s lost billions have been swallowed up by the decline in the value of his shares in Tesla, the electric vehicle company of which he is CEO. That price is down 65% this year and fell 11% last Tuesday alone, Bloomberg noted Friday.
Musk’s fortune to date peaked in November 2021 at $340 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. It’s now worth $137 billion, per Bloomberg, but that’s still a steep dive from 2021.
Musk was the world’s richest man until earlier this month, when he was overtaken by European fashion scion Bernard Arnault, the powerhouse behind LVMH.
Musk’s challenges include huge controversies over his management of a struggling Twitter, for which he paid $44 billion. The self-proclaimed “free speech purveyor” has repeatedly come under fire 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 the financially challenged Twitter as “basically… a plane heading towards the ground at high speed with the engines on and the controls not working”.
The company is apparently so cash-strapped that Musk recently shut down the servers that support a Twitter data center in Sacramento. He has also fired janitors at Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, reportedly forcing some employees to bring their own toilet paper.
Tesla investors fear that Musk’s excessive involvement on Twitter is distracting him from responding to Tesla’s serious issues amid growing competition.
In a dramatic move, Tesla is offering American consumers $7,500 off certain car models before the end of the year. The company is also reportedly reducing production at its Shanghai factory.
The world’s billionaires will collectively lose nearly $2 trillion in 2022, Forbes reported earlier this month. American billionaires lost a combined $660 billion, more than any other country, Forbes noted, and Musk lost the most.
(The loss came, however, 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 the decline in the value of technology stocks, rising interest rates, inflation and a weakening economy.