Tesla co-founder Elon Musk
Tesla co-founder Elon Musk
File Photo - AFP

Tesla co-founder Elon Musk on Monday surpassed Bill Gates to become the world’s second-richest person, only behind Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Bloomberg reported.

Only last week, the 49-year-old entrepreneur, who also founded SpaceX among other ventures, overtook Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to become the world’s fourth-richest person, after Bezos, LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. At the start of the year, he ranked 35th in the list of world's richest persons.

Gates, who has now been unseated by Musk for the second position, currently has a net worth of $127.7 billion.

According to Bloomberg News, Musk's net worth soared $7.2 billion to $127.9 billion after yet another surge in Tesla’s share price. Tesla’s stock has surged tremendously this year, up by more than 450%. Thanks to this, Musk has added over $100 billion to his net worth this year.

The recent surge in Tesla Inc stock price comes as the company is set to join the S&P 500 in December. S&P Dow Jones Indices confirmed after markets closed on Monday last that Tesla Inc would be added to Wall Street's main index from December 21.

As Tesla's market value is approaching $500 billion, its market capitalization should amount to more than 1% of the total value of the companies listed on the S&P 500, potentially making it the biggest ever addition to the index, a Reuters report said.

Meanwhile, the California stat has exempted Tesla from the new Covid-19 health orders, saying employees at Teslas Fremont plant are "essential workers".

According to a report in CNBC, the California Department of Public Health said that manufacturing is considered an "essential workforce".

California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced new measures such as a "limited stay-at-home order" to slow new coronavirus cases in the state.

Tesla and CEO Elon Musk had defied state and county health orders and kept Tesla factory running a couple of months back.

Musk threatened to move his Fremont car factory in California to Nevada or Texas if the state did not allow the facility to open despite the sheltering-in-home in place.

Musk filed a lawsuit in California's Alameda County to reopen the Fremont Tesla plant. The new health orders allow Tesla plant in Fremont to continue operating in accordance with its prior Covid-19 safety plan.

The Tesla California plant was shut on March 23 under a six-county order in the San Francisco area, which was extended through May 31.

Defying the stay-at-home order in place, Musk reopened Tesla factory in Fremont, California, challenging the authorities to arrest him if he defied the rules.

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