On Monday, Elon Musk became the third person ever to have a fortune of $200 billion, according to Forbes magazine. This makes him the richest man in the world, ahead of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Of course, given the confrontation between Bezos and Musk, the latter could not help but make an acute joke on the subject.
Commenting on being named the richest man in the world, Musk told Forbes that he would "send Jeffrey B. a giant statue with the number '2' and a silver medal." This mockery from the founder of Tesla and SpaceX is not surprising, as he has repeatedly made caustic remarks about his opponents. It will be interesting to see if Elon Musk will carry out his plan.
The Tesla CEO has twice in the past called Bezos a copycat: first in April 2019, when Amazon announced its plans to launch satellites to provide Internet access, similar to SpaceX's Starlink, and then again in June 2020, when Amazon acquired the unmanned car company Zoox.
Musk and Bezos have clashed lately on two fronts: financial health and space ambitions. Musk's fortune in March 2020 was "only" $24.6 billion, nearly $90 billion less than Bezos had at the time. In August 2020, Bezos became the first person whose net worth exceeded $200 billion amid a surge in Amazon stock. The surge in Tesla stock in 2020 helped Musk briefly become the richest man in the world in January 2021. Later, Bernard Arnault, head of French luxury conglomerate LVMH, became the richest man. This Tuesday, the billionaire ranking was topped by Musk, whose fortune is now estimated at $200.7 billion. Bezos came in second with $192.5 billion. Arnault came in third place with $174 billion.
At the moment, the main competition between Musk and Bezos is unfolding in the space industry. Bezos founded Blue Origin in 2000, and Musk launched SpaceX in 2002. Now the confrontation between the companies, and, accordingly, between their founders, unfolds around the NASA lunar contract, which involves the development of a landing module to send people to the moon. Musk is in the lead in this race, while Bezos is trying to put sticks in the wheels.