Elon Musk is as controversial as he is rich and had also shared misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic.
Elon Musk, 49, has become the world's richest person, surpassing Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos, 56. The share price of Tesla Inc. has only gone higher and higher in 2020, and on January 8, 2021, the electric automaker's shares increased by 7.9%. This placed Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, above Bezos on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 wealthiest people.
Musk is now worth $194.8 billion, which is $9.5 billion more than Bezos, according to Bloomberg.com. The 49-year-old South Africa-born engineer has had a dramatic increase in his wealth over the last year. He added more than $165 billion to his fortune, which is likely the fastest anyone has created a wealth of this amount.
The rise in his fortune is linked to the increase in Tesla’s share price, which went up by 743% last year. Since 2010, when it went for its initial public offering, the shares have gained more than 23,900%, which is incredible.
However, Musk is not devoid of controversy. The real-life Tony Stark has said that he won't rest until we have colonized Mars, as per Business Insider. He has been outspoken about the coronavirus pandemic, calling the concern people had over it "dumb." He has also promoted a malaria drug as a potential treatment for COVID-19 patients even though there was no scientific proof of it. He also spread misinformation saying "kids are essentially immune" from the virus. He also defied lockdown orders and reopened the Fremont plant of Tesla.
"If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me," Musk said in early May. Tesla was later allowed to reopen its operations. Back in 2018, Musk agreed to receive no salary or bonuses so he could have a performance-based compensation plan. So, every time Tesla reached a milestone, he would also gain, as per Quartz.
The father-of-seven welcomed his youngest child in 2020, and that too was a controversial moment because of what he named his child with Grimes, the musician. The couple named their child X Æ A-12 Musk, pronounced "X Ash Archangel." Grimes explained that X stands for the "unknown variable," Æ stands for Grimes' "elven spelling of Ai," and A-12 stands for a type of CIA aircraft known internally as Archangel, reported Business Insider.
•X, the unknown variable ⚔️— ☘︎𝔊𝔯𝔦𝔪𝔢𝔰࿎ (@Grimezsz) May 6, 2020
•Æ, my elven spelling of Ai (love &/or Artificial intelligence)
•A-12 = precursor to SR-17 (our favorite aircraft). No weapons, no defenses, just speed. Great in battle, but non-violent 🤍
(A=Archangel, my favorite song)
(⚔️🐁 metal rat)
However, the couple couldn't register the baby's name in its original form because of California laws. According to the state's birth-registration handbook, the name of children can only include the 26 letters of the alphabet. They can't be "ideograms," or symbols that represent a thing or an idea, and can include only "appropriate punctuation." They also can't have numeric characters.
Since Musk and Grimes live in California, they changed the new spelling of their child to "X Æ A-Xii," according to Grimes. "Roman numerals. Looks better tbh," Grimes said later.
The multi-billionaire also called the British diver Vernon Unsworth "pedo guy," for which he was sued by the diver. Unsworth had taken part in the rescue operation of 12 boys and their soccer coach who had been trapped in a cave in Thailand, for which the tech magnate had offered a "minisub."