Tesla boss Elon Musk has been named Person of the Year for 2021 by Time magazine, reports CNBC.
Person of the Year
The recognition comes in a year that saw his net worth surge making him the richest person in the world. His electric car manufacturing company also became the most valuable carmaker in the world in 2021.
In October, Tesla became one of the few companies with a market value of over $1 trillion. His space venture, SpaceX, has become a go-to provider of launch services for clients such as NASA.
Musk pipped Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in January to become the richest person alive and added more than $100 billion to his wealth this year alone.
Forbes listed Musk at exactly $253.8 billion with a 4.39 percent downward growth, but it still made the 50-year-old the richest man on earth in the real-time billionaires’ list.
About Elon Musk
A US citizen, Elon Musk was born to a supermodel and a diamond mine owner in South Africa. At the age of 17, Elon Musk moved to Canada, along with his mother, sister and brother. He spent two years at Kingston’s University in Ontario. And later earned two bachelors’ degrees (in Physics and Economics) from the University of Pennsylvania. Then he moved to California for a PhD in applied physics at Stanford University, but dropped out two days later.
Musk has led multiple successful ventures since a young age. He learned to program by himself and at the age of 12 sold his first program — a computer game called Blastar.
In 1995, Musk and his brother Kimbal, who is on the board of directors of SpaceX and Tesla, launched their first venture. The 20-something siblings created Zip2, an online city travel guide that was soon providing content for organisations like the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. The company was bought by Compaq Computer Corporation for nearly $350 million.
Four years later, Kimbal and Musk used some of the money from the sale of Zip2 to form X.com, an online financial services and payments company. Within a year, X.com acquired further assets and evolved to PayPal. The company was later bought by eBay.com $1.5 billion in stock, of which Musk received nearly 10 percent.
Musk started SpaceX in 2002 after realising that he could significantly cut down the cost of space travel by using vertical integration, cheap commercial off-the-shelf components when possible, and modular engineering.
While the company struggled in its early years, the company became the first private organisation to send a liquid-propellant rocket to orbit in 2008. Now, the company has emerged as a major private contender for various space exploration projects including future missions to Mars and the Moon, while also being awarded several lucrative NASA contracts.
Musk joined Tesla in 2004 as a Series A investor and became the chairman of the board of directors in the company. After a lawsuit with founders Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, who were the CEO and CFO at the time respectively, Musk could call himself one of the co-founders as well.
Initially involved with the product design of the vehicles, Musk later led Tesla to go public in 2010 with backing from Daimler and Toyota. It became only the second American car manufacturer after Ford to go public, and in 2017 overtook General Motors as the most valuable vehicle maker in the US.
Elon Musk draws an annual salary of $1 from Tesla while most of his fortune comes from his share in stock. Although, there was a time when Elon couldn’t even make ends meet as he lived off just $1 buying hot dogs and oranges in bulk.
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