Bloomberg Billionaires Index

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#54 Elon R Musk $17.0B

Random fact: SolarCity was bought by Tesla for $2 billion in November 2016.

Overview

Musk is the chief executive officer of Tesla, a maker of high-performance electric vehicles. The Palo Alto, California-based company currently sells a sedan and a SUV and is California's largest automotive employer. He's also CEO of SpaceX, a rocket manufacturer tapped by NASA to resupply the space station.

As of July 26, 2017:
Last change -$61.0M (-0.4%)
YTD change +$4.38B (+34.7%)
Industry Technology
Biggest asset TSLA US Equity
Citizenship United States
Age 46
Wealth Self-made
View net worth over:   Max 1 year 1 quarter 1 month 1 week

Relative Value

Elon R Musk's net worth of $17.0B can buy ...

0
troy ounces of gold
0
barrels of crude oil

... and is equivalent to ...

0%
of the GDP of the United States
0%
of the total wealth of the 500 richest people in the world
0%
of the top 100 U.S. college endowments
0%
of the top 200 U.S. executives’ total awarded compensation
0%
of U.S. existing home sales
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times the median U.S. household income

Latest News

Net Worth Summary

Cash
Private asset
Public asset
Misc. liabilities
Confidence rating:

The majority of Musk's fortune is derived from publicly traded carmaker Tesla, which became the state of California's biggest auto-industry employer in 2014, and closely held rocket business SpaceX, which counts the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration as a client. 

Musk owns about 22 percent of Tesla, which acquired his SolarCity alternative energy business in 2016, according to a September 2016 merger prospectus. He owns about 33 million Tesla shares and 2.1 million exercisable options after a May 19, 2016 transaction that exercised 5.5 million options, according to an SEC filing. He controls the stake through a revocable trust and has pledged 11.45 million shares as collateral against personal obligations, according to the prospectus. These shares are included in the net worth analysis and their value offset by a $624.3 million liability, the amount of borrowings against them disclosed in a March 2017 filing.

The methodology used in the analysis was changed May 25, 2017 when the pledged shares were added back to the calculation and the loan amounts deducted, increasing his net worth by $2.8 billion.

SpaceX is valued using the details from a January 2015 fundraising round, according to researcher CB Insights. Musk owns 54 percent of the closely held company through a trust, according to a Nov. 15, 2016 filing with the Federal Communications Commission. The value is reduced by 15 percentto account for typical discounts that shares in startups attract on the secondary market, according to two brokers who asked not to be identified because the information is private. 

Spokesmen for Tesla and SpaceX declined to comment on Musk's net worth.

Biography

Birthdate: 6/28/1971
Family: Married, 5 children
Education: 1997, Bachelor's Degree, Business, Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania 1995, Bachelor's Degree, Physics, University of Pennsylvania

Born in South Africa to an engineer father and nutritionist mother, Musk left home as a 17-year-old for college in Canada, in part to avoid serving in the apartheid-era South African army. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in physics and economics, he enrolled at Stanford University. He dropped out after his first few days to pursue his three main areas of interest: the Internet, clean energy and space.

He created an online publishing platform called Zip2 in 1995 and sold it four years later for more than $300 million. He reinvested some of the proceeds to start X.com, an online payment system. He would merge that with what eventually became PayPal, the e-commerce site that was ultimately sold to eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002.

His next project: SpaceX, a closely held rocket company that was tapped by NASA to take over space shuttle's role of resupplying the International Space Station. A year later, he founded Tesla Motors, a Palo Alto, California-based company that produced the world's first all-electric, zero-emission sports car in 2010, the same year the company sold shares in a public offering.

His third company, SolarCity, is the biggest provider of solar power systems in the U.S. Managed by his cousins, Peter and Lyndon Rive, SolarCity sold shares in a public offering in 2012 and was bought by Tesla on Nov. 21, 2016.

Musk, who recently said he intended to retire on planet Mars, joined Warren Buffett's Giving Pledge in April 2012.

Milestones
  • 1971 Elon Musk is born in Pretoria, South Africa.
  • 1981 Buys first computer at age 10.
  • 1983 Creates and sells his first commercial software game, Blastar.
  • 1999 Develops an online payment system called X.com.
  • 2000 Merges X.com with PayPal's parent company, Cofinity.
  • 2002 PayPal acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion.
  • 2002 Establishes SpaceX in a former airplane hangar near LAX.
  • 2003 Begins designing the all-electric Tesla Roadster.
  • 2008 SpaceX delivers its first satellite into space.
  • 2010 Tesla Motors begins trading on the NASDAQ stock exchange.