Elon Musk is no longer the world’s richest person after Tesla Inc. shares slid 8.6 per cent on Monday, wiping US$15.2 billion from his net worth.
Tesla’s decline was fueled in part by Musk’s comments over the weekend that the prices of Bitcoin and smaller rival Ether “do seem high.” His message — via his favored medium of Twitter — came two weeks after Tesla announced it has added US$1.5 billion in Bitcoin to its balance sheet.
Musk also tweeted earlier Monday that the company’s Model Y Standard Range SUV would still be available “off the menu,” backing up reports from electric vehicle news site Electrek that the model had been removed from its online configurator.
Musk drops to second on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index of the world’s 500 richest people with a net worth of US$183.4 billion. Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos reclaimed the top spot even as his fortune fell by US$3.7 billion to US$186.3 billion.
The two billionaires have been swapping places this year as the value of Tesla fluctuated. Musk briefly overtook Bezos after his rocket company SpaceX raised US$850 million earlier this month, valuing the company at US$74 billion, a 60 per cent jump from August.
Bezos occupied the top spot on the ranking for three straight years prior to January, when Musk eclipsed the e-commerce titan thanks to a 794 per cent rally in Tesla shares.