Tesla boss Elon Musk’s personal fortune drops £165bn - a world record


Elon Musk has broken the world record for the largest loss of personal wealth in history.

The Twitter and Tesla chief executive’s fortune slumped by about £165bn ($182bn) since November 2021, Guinness World Records said.

Using data by Forbes, Guinness sources suggest that it could actually be closer to £170bn ($200bn).

Shares in Musk’s electric car firm Tesla plummeted after he bought Twitter last year.

A Guinness World Records report said while the exact figure of Musk’s losses is “almost impossible to ascertain”, his total losses “far surpass” the previous record of $58.6bn set by Japanese tech investor Masayoshi Son in 2000.

Musk was overtaken in the global rich list by Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of quality brands Moët, Hennessy and Louis Vuitton.

Arnault’s net worth is listed as $203.7bn (£168bn) on the Forbes list, while Musk in second place is estimated to be $146.5bn (£121bn).

Musk had been the world’s richest man since September 2021 when he took over from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

The estimated loss is based on the value of his shares, which could regain their value making Musk’s wealth increase again.

Tesla car (Tesla)
Tesla car (Tesla)

Tesla stocks more than halved in value in 2022, partially due to a sell-off that accelerated in the wake of Musk’s controversial $44bn (£35.5bn) Twitter takeover. He sold off $4bn (£3.2bn) of Tesla stock to finance the deal.

But sparked criticism by firing large numbers of staff and changing content moderation policies.

Many Tesla investors believe he has been “asleep at the wheel” and should be focusing on the electric vehicle company as it faces falling demand, rising competition and Covid-linked production challenges.

The report points out the net worth of billionaires is “much more volatile and variable” than that of the average earner.

“This is because the bulk of a billionaire’s fortune typically takes the form of shares and investments. As the market valuation of these investments fluctuates, so too does their owner’s apparent wealth.”

It added: “As Elon Musk continues to build his own tech conglomerate, we won’t be surprised to see him bounce back too at some point in the future.”