Elon Musk is now the richest man ever, and is worth more than the combined fortunes of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.
Elon Musk is now the richest man ever — by a fair margin.
The Tesla CEO’s fortune has shot up as the stock price of his companies, Tesla and SpaceX, continues to rise.
The net worth of the world’s richest man has soared to $395 billion (USD$300 billion).
The South African-born businessman is continuing to branch out. He purchased 73.5 million Twitter shares, or 9.2 per cent of the company’s common stock, on Monday.
He marked the major buy in his sardonic style, writing, “Oh hi lol” on the social media platform.
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal immediately announced that Mr Musk would be appointed as a director at the company.
“I’m excited to share that we’re appointing [Mr Musk] to our board!” Mr Agrawal announced.
“Through conversations with Elon in recent weeks, he became clear to us that he would bring great value to our board.”
“He’s both a passionate believer and intense critic of the service which is exactly what we need on [Twitter] and in the boardroom, to make us stronger in the long-term. Welcome Elon!”
Mr Musk didn’t waste time shaking things up — and immediately started a poll about adding an “edit” button to Twitter.
The inability to edit tweets has been a much-hated feature of Twitter, and the subject of intense debate.
Mr Musk has been known to follow through on his polls. In November last year he let Twitter decide whether he should sell 10 per cent of his Tesla stock, worth about $28.14 billion (US$25 billion) at the time. He followed through with the sale after the poll ended.
So far 4.3 million people have voted in the poll on the “edit button” for Twitter, with 73 per cent voting in support of the motion.
Mr Agrawal confirmed the poll was serious, writing, “The consequences of this poll will be important. Please vote carefully.”
Crypto billionaire and Binance CEO CZ (Changpeng Zhao) also weighed in, stating, “Getting rid of spam is probably higher priority” and asking Mr Musk to “protect users”.
Andrew ‘Boz’ Bosworth, the chief technology officer at Meta, also offered some friendly advice, stating, “We solved this on Facebook a long time ago. You just include an indicator that it has been edited along with a change log.
“If you are really worried about embeds they can point to a specific revision in that history but with a link to the latest edit. Not a real issue.”
Mr. Musk responded dryly, “Facebook gives me the willies.”
The Tesla CEO has been a critic on Twitter, writing immediately prior to the stock purchase, “Is a new platform needed?”
He also noted that, “Free speech is essential to a functioning democracy” and described Twitter as a de facto public town square.
“Failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy,” he warned.
He later quipped, “Seize the memes of production!” in a viral tweet.
Supporters of former US president Donald Trump — who was banned from Twitter before the 2020 US election, are hoping Mr Musk will reverse the ban.
US political conservatives have long complained that the platform censors right-wing voices, an assertion the company denies.
The eccentric billionaire’s net worth is now more than twice that of famed investor Warren Buffett and has a $131 billion (US$100 billion) lead on Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
According to an analysis by CNN, Mr Musk is worth more than the combined fortunes of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.
He’s also got co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin covered.
In fact, he’s the richest person of all time, according to Forbes.
He’s so insanely rich he could buy every NFL team and still have $250 billion (US$190 billion) in change
However, it’s mostly paper-wealth as his fortune is comprised of SpaceX and Tesla stock.
It has been argued that other figures, including Mansa Musa, Augustus Caesar and Andrew Carnegie, are the wealthiest people of all time, when net worth is adjusted for inflation.