- Richest Business › CEOs
- Net Worth:
- $240 Billion
- Date of Birth:
- Jun 28, 1971 (52 years old)
- Place of Birth:
- 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
- Aerospace Engineer, Engineer, Entrepreneur, Investor, Designer, Businessperson, Inventor, Film Producer
- South Africa
What is Elon Musk's Net Worth?
Elon Musk is a South African-born Canadian-American businessman, inventor and investor who has a net worth of $240 billion. Though he wears many hats and is constantly topping his latest project, Elon Musk is earned the vast majority of his fortune as as the CEO of Tesla Motors. He is also know for being the CEO and CTO of SpaceX and chairman of SolarCity. He holds the record for being the richest person in the world and the richest person in modern history.
As of this writing Elon Musk owns roughly 24% of Tesla's outstanding shares and 43% of the privately-held SpaceX. In October 2021 Tesla's market cap broke $1 trillion for the first time. That same month SpaceX raided money at a $100 billion valuation. At this point Elon's net worth teetered around $300 billion for the first time.
Elon Musk taught himself computer programming when he was a kid. By age 12, he'd coded and sold his first computer game, Blastar. He went on to attend the Queen's University in Ontario, and ultimately graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with dual degrees in business and physics. He moved on to Stanford University to attend a Ph.D. program in physics, but decided school was no longer a useful pursuit. He dove directly into his career plans, dropping out of Stanford two days after the first semester began. His first venture was a software company called Zip2, which he founded with his brother, Kimbal Musk. Their primary product was an internet-based guide for cities, that was geared towards the publishing industry, particularly newspapers. The brothers sold Zip2 to Compaq in 1999 for $307 million in cash and $34 million in stock. From there, he launched X.com, an email payment company. He subsequently bought Confinity, the company that operated PayPal. Musk merged everything and renamed it all PayPal. He has continued to launch new businesses since then, including SpaceX, his aerospace design and development company, and Tesla Motors, the company behind a range of increasingly popular electric sports cars. In October 2022 Elon acquired Twitter for $44 billion,
- Sold first company Zip2 to Compaq in 1999 for $340 million
- Invested a portion of his windfall into X.com
- X.com became Paypal. Paypal sold to eBay in 2002 for $1.5b
- Owns 48% of SpaceX which is valued at $46 billion
- Owns 22% of Tesla
- Net Worth increased $142 billion in 2020
- Once testifed that he his "cash poor" and has $500 million worth of debt
- Once owned $100 million worth of real estate
- Sold six LA homes in 2020
Net Worth History
- On January 1, 2020, Elon's net worth was $28 billion. He ended 2020 with a net worth of $170 billion.
- On July 13, 2020 when Elon's net worth hit $80 billion for the first time, $15 billion came from SpaceX and $65 billion came from Tesla.
- In August 2020 two important factors pushed Elon's net worth above $90 billion for the first time. First, in mid-August Tesla shares hit an all-time high of $1,900. At that level the company's total market cap was $350 billion. Elon's 20% stake was worth $70 billion. The second factor was an increased valuation of SpaceX which was officially confirmed on August 18, 2020. The fundraising round increased SpaceX's private valuation to $46 billion, up from $36 billion. At a valuation of $46 billion, Elon's 48% stake adds $22 billion in pre-tax wealth to Elon's net worth.
- On November 17, 2020 Elon's net worth topped $100 billion for the first time. At that point he surpassed Mark Zuckerberg to become the third-richest person on the planet for the first time.
- On November 24, 2020 Elon's net worth topped $128 billion for the first time. At that point he surpassed Bill Gates to become to the second-richest person in the world for the first time. On that day he was $54 billion away from Jeff Bezos' $184 billion net worth and his net worth had officially increased $100 billion since January 1, 2020.
- On January 7, 2021 Elon's net worth hit $195 billion. On this day Elon eclipsed Jeff Bezos as the richest person in the world for the first time.
- On January 8, 2021 Elon ended the week with a net worth of $210 billion after starting the week worth $170 billion.
- In October 2021 when Tesla's market cap topped $1 trillion and SpaceX's valuation was $100 billion, Elon's net worth was $300 billion.
- On November 1st, 2021, when Tesla's market cap topped $1.2 trillion, Elon Musk's net worth was $335 billion.
- On December 13, 2022, Elon Musk lost his title of richest person in the world when his $165 billion net worth was overtaken by Bernard Arnault's $167 billion net worth.
- Elon ended 2022 with a fortune of $134 billion, a full $200 billion drop from a year prior.
Elon takes no salary as CEO of Tesla. He instead has a highly unusual and extremely lucrative bonus plan tied to the company's market cap milestones. When the plan was forged, Tesla was worth around $50 billion. There are 12 total milestones based on $50 billion market cap increases. Elon hit every single milestone and therefore qualified to receive all $100 billion from the bonus plan. Shares related to this plan are released quarterly after the Board of Directors confirms the milestone was achieved.
Elon Musk was born June 28, 1971 in Pretoria, South Africa. Musk bought his first computer at the age of 10 and taught himself how to program. When he was 12 he made his first software sale—a game he created called Blaster. At age 17, in 1989, he moved to Canada to attend Queen's University, but left in 1992 to study business and physics at the University of Pennsylvania. Musk graduated with an undergraduate degree in economics and continued on to earn a second bachelor's degree in physics then pursued a PhD in energy physics. He dropped out of Stanford University, however, to become a part of the internet boom.
Musk's first company, Zip2 Corporation, was an online city guide. In 1999 a division of Compaq Computer bought Zip2 for $307 million in cash and $34 million in stock options. Also in 1999, Musk co-founded X.com, an online financial services/payments company. An X.com acquisition the following year led to the creation of PayPal, as it is known today, and in 2002 PayPal was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in stock.
Musk founded his third company, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), in 2002 with the intention of building spacecraft for commercial space travel. By 2008, SpaceX was well-established and NASA awarded the company the contract to handle cargo transport for the International Space Station—with plans for astronaut transport in the future.
Next was Tesla Motors, an automobile company dedicated to producing affordable, mass-market electric cars. Tesla was founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. Elon along with Ian Wright and J.B. Straubel were the company's first employees and retroactively named co-founders.
With a stake in the company taken by Daimler and a strategic partnership with Toyota, Tesla Motors launched its initial public offering in June 2010, raising $226 million. In 2012, Musk and SpaceX made history when the company launched its Falcon 9 rocket into space with an unmanned capsule. In 2013, he released a concept for a new form of transportation called the Hyperloop, intended for travel at speeds greater than 700 mph to commute between major cities. As opposed to railroads, the Hyperloop would use tubes for transportation. Musk says the Hyperloop could take from 7 to 10 years to be built, tested and ready for use.
Elon Musk Net Worth Details
As of this writing, Elon Musk owns 43% of rocket maker SpaceX and 24% of Tesla.
In a 2019 legal deposition, Musk explained that he actually is somewhat cash-poor and that 99% of his personal wealth is attributable to shares in Tesla and SpaceX. The lawsuit also revealed that Musk's base salary at Tesla is $56,380. He declines the salary in most years. At the time of the lawsuit Musk had $500 million worth of debt with the majority owed to Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Roughly least $60 million of his Morgan Stanley debt was home mortgage-related. He has since sold off most of his homes and re-paid this mortgage debt.
He reportedly burned through all of his liquid cash from previous business sales to launch SpaceX.
Tesla Compensation Plan
In January 2018, the Tesla board unveiled a compensation plan for Musk that would eventually be worth $100 billion. The plan called for Musk to receive up to $100 billion in stock options over a decade in 12-tranches. The first chunk of options were granted once Tesla hits a market cap of $100 billion (roughly double the value when the plan was announced). From that point on, Elon received another of the tranches every time the company increases in market cap by $50 billion.
If he did not achieve any of the 12 tranches, he would have received zero compensation.
Within three years Elon unlocked all 12 tranches of the compensation plan as Tesla's market cap ultimately zoomed above $1 trillion for the first time in October 2021.
Elon has been married three times, twice to the same woman – actress Talulah Riley. He was married to Canadian author Justine Wilson from 2000 to 2008. They share five sons. He has also been romantically involved with actress Amber Heard and Canadian musician Grimes. In May 2020, Grimes and Elon welcomed a baby boy named X Æ A-Xii. They welcomed a second child via surrogate in December 2021.
At some point in late 2021 Elon ALSO welcomed a set of twins, born to one of his Neuralink executives.
In total he has 10 children as of this writing.
In July 2022 it was reported that Elon Musk had an affair in December 2021 with the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The affair reportedly led to Sergey filing for divorce from his wife of four years, Nicole Shanahan. Painfully, Sergey had long-been one of Musk's biggest supporters. He invested in several Musk companies, including being one of the earliest investors in Tesla.
Elon previously owned $100 million worth of real estate in California alone. In the Northern California town of Hillsborough he continues to own a 100-year-old, 16,000 square-foot villa that sits on nearly 50-acres. He bought this house for $23.364 million in 2017.
In Southern California he at one time owned six homes in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Bel-Air. His Bel-Air footprint included a 20,000 square-foot house that he bought for $17 million in 2012, a 7,000 square-foot house he bought for $20 million in 2015 and a 9,300 square-foot house he purchased in 2016 for $24.25 million. In 2020 Elon stunned the world by announcing his intention to sell all of his worldly possessions, starting with his LA homes. True to his word, he proceeded to sell off each home. He sold four homes at once to one buyer in December 2020.