Elon Musk has overtaken Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest man, according to reports.
Mr Musk, the billionaire entrepreneur who founded Tesla, has a net worth of more than $188.5bn (£139bn) following shares in his company gaining more than 5% on Thursday.
Bloomberg reported that this put him $1.5bn (£1.1bn) ahead of Mr Bezos.
The 49-year-old has seen his personal wealth boosted by a surge of almost 800% in the value of Tesla shares last year.
But he seemed unimpressed when replying to a Twitter account that told of his new status, tweeting: “How strange. Well, back to work…”
Mr Musk, who was born in South Africa, has a 20% stake in Tesla, the world’s most valuable carmaker, and about $42bn of unrealised paper gains on vested stock options, according to the Bloomberg report.
But the Forbes Billionaires List has a more conservative estimate of Mr Musk’s wealth and places him below Mr Bezos by $7.8bn.
Besides Tesla, he heads rocket company SpaceX and Neuralink, which is working on ultra-high bandwidth machine interfaces to connect human brains to computers.
Mr Bezos, meanwhile, might still have led Mr Musk were it not for his divorce – his ex-wife MacKenzie Scott became the third-richest woman in the world when they split in April 2019.
Bezos gave $2bn to US charitable causes in 2018, and pledged $10bn to fight climate change early in 2020.
He also gave $100m to an initiative to help food banks during the coronavirus crisis.