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Jeff Bezos is world’s richest person again after Tesla stock’s slip hits Elon Musk

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in 2019
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had been the world’s richest person for more than three years when Elon Musk’s wealth surpassed his in January.
(Charles Krupa / Associated Press)

Elon Musk’s reign as the the world’s richest person was brief.

Tesla Inc. shares slid 2.4% on Tuesday, erasing $4.6 billion from its chief executive’s fortune and knocking him from the top spot on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index ranking.

Jeff Bezos, who’d held the title for more than three years until last month, reclaimed his No. 1 position with a net worth of $191.2 billion, or $955 million more than Musk.

Musk’s drop in wealth ends his almost six-week stint as world’s richest person, during which he was front and center in some of the biggest market events this year. He fanned the flames of the Reddit-driven GameStop Corp. rally and sent the shares of Etsy Inc., Shopify Inc., CD Projekt and Signal Advance Inc. soaring with boosterish tweets.

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Recently he has roiled the prices of bitcoin and dogecoin, a lesser-known cryptocurrency that Musk spiked with a tweeted meme this month. The price of bitcoin blew past $50,000 just days after Tesla revealed plans to hold $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency on its balance sheet. Still, despite Musk’s seemingly constant social media presence, Tesla shares have slid almost 10% from a Jan. 26 peak.

It’s been an eventful stretch for Bezos as well. He retakes the mantle of the world’s richest person as he’s about to cede a title of his own. Amazon.com Inc. announced this month that Bezos will step down as CEO of the e-commerce giant in the third quarter of this year to focus on other projects. Bezos owns space exploration company Blue Origin as well as the Washington Post and has accelerated his philanthropic giving in recent years. Amazon shares have climbed 53% in the last 12 months.

It may not be long, though, before Musk leapfrogs Bezos once again. Musk’s SpaceX, a rival to Bezos’ Blue Origin, has been in talks to raise funds that would significantly increase its valuation. SpaceX completed an $850-million funding round last week at a valuation of $74 billion — about 60% higher than in its prior round, according to CNBC, which cited unnamed people familiar with the matter.


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