• Sun. Mar 19th, 2023

Elon Musk was in danger of losing his long-held title of world’s richest individual on Wednesday morning.

It follows months of tumult at Twitter and his various other business interests.

Bernard Arnault, CEO of the French luxury goods firm LVMH, temporarily topped Musk on the Forbes real-time billionaires list.

LVMH’s subsidiaries include Louis Vuitton and Moët & Chandon, the New York Post reports.

Musk had regained a slight edge over Arnault later Wednesday morning, only to lose the top spot again. Forbes estimated Arnault’s wealth at US$185.8 billion and Musk’s fortune at US$185.4 billion as of 11.35am (US time).

Musk is currently in the top spot again — with a healthy $48 billion gap between him and the next wealthiest person, Jeff Bezos.

According to the real time list this morning, Elon Musk’s net worth is estimated to be US$219 billion, Jeff Bezos is worth US$171 billion and Arnault has a fortune of US$158 billion.

Musk’s wealth drain occurred on a day in which shares of his electric vehicle firm Tesla slipped nearly 4%. Tesla’s stock, which comprises the bulk of Musk’s estimated wealth, has fallen nearly 60% since January as recession fears and macroeconomic uncertainty grip investors.

Tesla investors have expressed frustration this year as Musk became embroiled in a media firestorm over his US$44 billion acquisition of Twitter. Musk has sold Tesla shares on multiple occasions to fund the takeover.

Musk has faced a mixed public reaction while overhauling Twitter’s operations, with critics questioning his decision to order sweeping lay-offs and dial back content moderation practices. This week, the billionaire faced renewed scrutiny over reports that Twitter has installed bedrooms within its offices.

Musk had held the top spot on Forbes’ list since September of last year. His wealth peaked at an all-time high of US$320.3 billion on November 4, 2021.

However, the tech entrepreneur’s fortune has plummeted by more than US$100 billion this year as Tesla shares plummeted. His net worth has dwindled by about US$70 billion since he first placed a bid to buy Twitter in April.

Aside from his roles at Tesla and Twitter, Musk also co-founded the brain chip firm Neuralink and heads up the tunnel-drilling Boring Company.

Richest people in the world

Elon Musk: $219 billion

Jeff Bezos: $171 billion

Bernard Arnault: $158 billion

Bill Gates: $129 billion

Warren Buffett: $118 billion

This story was published by the New York Post and reproduced with permission.

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