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What just happened? Elon Musk can claim many things: the world's second-richest person, owner of Twitter, CEO of several multi-billion-dollar companies. But there's one title he's unlikely to want; Musk is the first person in history to see $200 billion erased from their net worth.
In 2021, Musk became only the second person ever to amass a personal fortune of $200 billion—Amazon's founder and former CEO Jeff Bezos beat him to that milestone. The Tesla boss continued to see his value climb that same year, reaching a peak of $340 billion in November 2021, one month after Tesla's market cap hit $1 trillion.
But Musk's fortunes have taken a downturn in recent times. Much of his wealth is tied to ownership of Tesla shares, which have fallen from $381 in April to their current price of $123. It meant Musk lost his title of the world's richest person to Bernard Arnault, chairman of French luxury conglomerate LVMH, in December. And as Bloomberg notes, Musk's current fortune of $137 billion means his wealth has dropped by $200 billion, the first time in history this unwanted feat has happened.
Many Tesla investors are placing the blame for the company's falling share price firmly on Musk and his preoccupation with Twitter. The CEO has sold almost $40 billion of his Tesla shares over the last 12 months, despite promising not to offload more on several occasions. The selloffs mean his SpaceX shares ($44.8 billion) are now worth more than his Tesla stock ($44 billion).
Tesla's tumbling share price over the last 12 months
It appears that Musk is trying to distance himself from the day-to-day running of Twitter by appointing a new CEO—one of his recent polls saw more people vote in favor of him stepping aside—though he's still trying to find someone "foolish enough" to take the job.
Unsurprisingly, Musk has been dismissive of reports about Tesla's falling stock price. He's also criticized the federal reserve for raising interest rates. "Tesla is executing better than ever!" Musk tweeted last month. "We don't control the Federal Reserve. That is the real problem here."