Last Updated: April 29, 2024
Info
Category:
Richest BusinessCEOs
Net Worth:
$186 Billion
Salary:
$0
Birthdate:
Jun 28, 1971 (52 years old)
Birthplace:
Pretoria
Gender:
Male
Height:
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Profession:
Aerospace Engineer, Engineer, Entrepreneur, Investor, Designer, Businessperson, Inventor, Film Producer
Nationality:
South Africa
đź’° Compare Elon Musk's Net Worth

What is Elon Musk's Net Worth?

Elon Musk is a South African-born Canadian-American businessman, inventor, and investor who has a net worth of $186 billion. Elon Musk is currently the fourth richest person in the world. In November 2021, when his net worth briefly topped $340 billion, Elon surpassed John D. Rockefeller to become the richest person in modern history. Elon was the richest person in the world, pretty much uninterrupted from January 2021 through March 2024, when Jeff Bezos re-took the lead.

The vast majority of Elon Musk's net worth comes from his 13% equity stake in Tesla, approximately 412 million shares. He also owns 304 million exercisable options in Tesla. Combined, that equates to roughly 21% of the company. Elon has pledged 58% of his Tesla shares as collateral against $3.5 billion worth of personal loans, and in 2022, he sold $40 billion worth of Tesla shares to fund his purchase of Twitter.

Elon is also the co-founder of SpaceX and the Boring Company and is the chairman of SolarCity. Elon owns 43% of the privately-held SpaceX. SpaceX was valued at $180 billion at its last valuation round. As of its last valuation round, the Boring Company is reportedly worth $5 billion.

In October 2022, Elon acquired Twitter for $44 billion. He owns roughly 79% of the company at an overall valuation of $44 billion. Twitter's private valuation under his ownership has nosedived, perhaps to as low as $19 billion. As we stated previously, he sold $40 billion worth of Tesla shares in 2022, primarily to fund the Twitter purchase.

Key Facts
  • Sold first company Zip2 to Compaq in 1999 for $340 million
  • Invested a portion of his windfall into X.com
  • X.com became Paypal. Paypal sold to eBay in 2002 for $1.5b
  • Owns 43% of SpaceX which is valued at $180 billion
  • Owns 21% of Tesla
  • Net Worth increased $142 billion in 2020
  • Once testifed that he his "cash poor" and has $500 million worth of debt
  • Once owned $100 million worth of real estate
  • Sold six LA homes in 2020

Salary & 2018 Compensation Plan

Elon Musk does not earn a salary as CEO of Tesla. In place of a salary, in 2018, Elon arranged to receive a highly unusual and potentially very lucrative bonus plan tied to the company's market cap milestones. When the plan was forged, Tesla was worth around $50 billion. In very simple terms, according to the plan, Elon would receive large chunks of Tesla options, equal to 1% of the company, every time the company increased in market cap by $50 billion, and stayed there for at least three months. The first chunk of options were granted once Tesla hit a market cap of $100 billion. Elon received another of the tranches every time the company increased its market cap by $50 billion, up to $600 billion. So, in other words, if Tesla's market cap increased to $600 billion, Elon would receive options equal to 12% of the company. He would have received zero compensation if he had not achieved any of the 12 tranches. Oh, and he had a 10-year term limit for the deal.

It took a year for Tesla to cross the first $100 billion level. Two years later, in December 2020, Tesla's market cap crossed the maximum $600 billion level. FYI, one year later, it topped out at $1.23 trillion. At that level, Elon's net worth hit $340 billion. That's the point where Elon's net worth was temporarily $340 billion. Tesla's board confirmed that by hitting the $600 billion mark in under ten years, Elon was entitled to the full benefit of his compensation plan. That meant he received around 300 million Tesla options, worth around $55 billion by January 2024. Unfortunately for Elon, that was not the end of the story.

Some shareholders were not happy about his compensation package. In a lawsuit, one shareholder alleged that the package was overly excessive and was granted by a board of directors that Elon unfairly controlled. On January 30, 2024, a Delaware judge AGREED with the shareholder and, with the strike of a gavel, essentially voided his entire compensation package. Elon can (and likely will) appeal, but in the end, the board will likely have to come up with a new compensation plan for his performance between 2018 and the end of 2023.

Early Life

Elon Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa, on June 28, 1971. Musk bought his first computer at ten and taught himself how to program. When he was 12, he made his first software sale—a game he created called Blaster. At age 17, in 1989, he moved to Canada to attend Queen's University but left in 1992 to study business and physics at the University of Pennsylvania. Musk graduated with an undergraduate degree in economics and continued on to earn a second bachelor's degree in physics, then pursued a PhD in energy physics. However, he dropped out of Stanford University to become a part of the internet boom.

Success

Musk's first company, Zip2 Corporation, was an online city guide. In 1999, a division of Compaq Computer bought Zip2 for $307 million in cash and $34 million in stock options. Also in 1999, Musk co-founded X.com, an online financial services/payments company. An X.com acquisition the following year led to the creation of PayPal, as it is known today, and in 2002, PayPal was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in stock.

Musk founded his third company, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), in 2002 with the intention of building spacecraft for commercial space travel. By 2008, SpaceX was well-established, and NASA awarded the company the contract to handle cargo transport for the International Space Station—with plans for astronaut transport in the future.

Next was Tesla Motors, an automobile company dedicated to producing affordable, mass-market electric cars. Tesla was founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. Elon, along with Ian Wright and J.B. Straubel, were the company's first employees and retroactively named co-founders.

With a stake in the company taken by Daimler and a strategic partnership with Toyota, Tesla Motors launched its initial public offering in June 2010, raising $226 million. In 2012, Musk and SpaceX made history when the company launched its Falcon 9 rocket into space with an unmanned capsule. In 2013, he released a concept for a new form of transportation called the Hyperloop, intended for travel at speeds greater than 700 mph to commute between major cities. As opposed to railroads, the Hyperloop would use tubes for transportation. Musk says the Hyperloop could take 7 to 10 years to be built, tested, and ready for use.

(Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Personal Life

Elon has been married three times, twice to the same woman – actress Talulah Riley. He was married to Canadian author Justine Wilson from 2000 to 2008. They share five sons. He has also been romantically involved with actress Amber Heard and Canadian musician Grimes. In May 2020, Grimes and Elon welcomed a baby boy named X Æ A-Xii. They welcomed a second child via surrogate in December 2021.

At some point in late 2021, Elon ALSO welcomed a set of twins born to one of his Neuralink executives.

In total, he has ten children.

In July 2022, it was reported that Elon Musk had an affair in December 2021 with the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The affair reportedly led to Sergey filing for divorce from his wife of four years, Nicole Shanahan. Painfully, Sergey had long been one of Musk's biggest supporters. He invested in several Musk companies, including being one of the earliest investors in Tesla.

Real Estate

Elon previously owned $100 million worth of real estate in California alone. In the Northern California town of Hillsborough, he continues to own a 100-year-old, 16,000-square-foot villa that sits on nearly 50 acres. He bought this house for $23.364 million in 2017.

In Southern California, he once owned six homes in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Bel-Air. His Bel-Air footprint included a 20,000-square-foot house that he bought for $17 million in 2012, a 7,000-square-foot house he bought for $20 million in 2015 and a 9,300-square-foot house he purchased in 2016 for $24.25 million. In 2020, Elon stunned the world by announcing his intention to sell all his worldly possessions, starting with his LA homes. True to his word, he proceeded to sell off each home. He sold four homes at once to one buyer in December 2020.

Elon Musk Net Worth History

  • On January 1, 2020, Elon's net worth was $28 billion. He ended 2020 with a net worth of $170 billion.
  • On July 13, 2020, when Elon's net worth hit $80 billion for the first time, $15 billion came from SpaceX, and $65 billion came from Tesla.
  • In August 2020, two important factors pushed Elon's net worth above $90 billion for the first time. First, in mid-August, Tesla shares hit an all-time high of $1,900. At that level, the company's total market cap was $350 billion. Elon's 20% stake was worth $70 billion. The second factor was an increased valuation of SpaceX, which was officially confirmed on August 18, 2020. The fundraising round increased SpaceX's private valuation to $46 billion, up from $36 billion. At a valuation of $46 billion, Elon's 48% stake adds $22 billion in pre-tax wealth to Elon's net worth.
  • On November 17, 2020, Elon's net worth topped $100 billion for the first time. At that point, he surpassed Mark Zuckerberg to become the third-richest person on the planet for the first time.
  • On November 24, 2020, Elon's net worth topped $128 billion for the first time. At that point, he surpassed Bill Gates to become the second-richest person in the world for the first time. On that day, he was $54 billion away from Jeff Bezos' $184 billion net worth, and his net worth had officially increased by $100 billion since January 1, 2020.
  • On January 7, 2021, Elon's net worth hit $195 billion. On this day, Elon eclipsed Jeff Bezos as the richest person in the world for the first time.
  • On January 8, 2021, Elon ended the week with a net worth of $210 billion after starting the week worth $170 billion.
  • In October 2021, when Tesla's market cap topped $1 trillion and SpaceX's valuation was $100 billion, Elon's net worth was $300 billion.
  • On November 1st, 2021, when Tesla's market cap topped $1.2 trillion, Elon Musk's net worth was $335 billion.
  • On December 13, 2022, Elon Musk lost his title of richest person in the world when his $165 billion net worth was overtaken by Bernard Arnault's $167 billion net worth.
  • Elon ended 2022 with a fortune of $134 billion, a full $200 billion drop from a year prior.
  • Elon ended 2023 with a fortune of $210 billion

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
Did we make a mistake?
Submit a correction suggestion and help us fix it!
Submit a Correction