Elon Musk is close to reclaiming the title of world's richest person as Tesla stock soars 76% in 2023

  • Elon Musk is nearing the title for world’s richest person yet again.
  • The billionaire is close to the top spot as the value of Tesla stock soars amid a broader rally in the tech sector. 
  • French luxury-goods exec Bernard Arnault dethroned Musk as the wealthiest person in December. 

Elon Musk is nearing the title of world’s richest person yet again.

The 51-year-old chief exec, whose net worth is largely wrapped up in Tesla stock, is close to recapturing the spot as the electric-vehicle maker’s shares surge. Tesla is up 76% year-to-date amid a broader rally in the tech sector and signs of growing demand for the company’s cars.

Musk could dethrone French business magnate Bernard Arnault, who is the founder of the world’s largest luxury goods company, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, and surpassed Musk in December while Tesla stock was still slumping.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Musk was worth $187 billion, as of February 14, just trailing Arnault’s $190 billion.

But the margin is wider based on Forbes’ real-time billionaire tracker, which puts Musk’s net worth at $197.9 billion and Arnault’s and his family’s at $216.8 billion.

The two billionaires found themselves in a similar situation last week, when Musk also came within $3 billion of surpassing Arnault, based on Bloomberg’s metric. 

This year’s rally in Tesla stock marks a dramatic reversal from last year, when it slumped 65% as rising interest rates dampened investors’ appetite for riskier bets and shareholders worried that Musk’s chaotic $44 billion takeover of Twitter would drag on Tesla’s share price. In addition, Musk sold more than $22.9 billion of Tesla shares to shore up funds during the takeover.

But since the new year began, investors have been cheered by growing faith that interest-rate cuts are coming and a strong fourth-quarter earnings report from Tesla that beat Wall Street forecasts.

Musk’s net worth peaked at $300 billion in 2021. He is Tesla’s biggest individual shareholder and also owns an estimated 74% of Twitter. Other sources of Musk’s fortune include SpaceX, the rocket developer he co-founded which notched a $127 billion valuation in May of 2022.