Musk is also the co-founder of Tesla, shares of which dropped to the lowest level in 2 years.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Musk lost $101 billion in the last 1 year. However, he continues to be world’s richest man with a total wealth of $170 billion.
A year ago, his total net worth peaked at $340 billion. On Monday alone, Musk lost $8.6 billion as Tesla shares plunged 6.8% to $167.87 in New York trading. This is the lowest since November 2020.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is the next in line with a loss of $83.5 billion in a year.
Changpeng Zhao, founder and CEO of Binance lost nearly $82 billion, while Amazon chief Jeff Bezos saw his wealth decline by $76.7 billion.
Interestingly, out of the top 10 biggest losers of the year, 7 billionaires belong to the IT sector.
In total, top 10 biggest losers accounted for a combined loss of $183.5 billion as compared to a year ago period.
Meanwhile, Asia’s richest man and the chairman of one of India’s leading business groups Gautam Adani gained the most wealth in the last 1 year. The business tycoon from India added $53 billion to his net worth. He is the third richest person in Bloomberg’s billionaires list with a wealth of $130 billion.
Jeff Yass, the founder of Susquehanna International Group, a proprietary trading firm, is the second biggest wealth gainer in last 1 year with an addition of $29.4 billion. Zhang Yiming and Alain Wertheimer are placed next with net additions of just over $10 billion.
Tesla rout accelerates
Tesla’s shares have lost nearly half of their value in less than two months as supply-chain snarls mount, raw-material costs soar and potential buyers feel the squeeze of stubborn inflation and rising interest rates.
As mentioned above, the electric-vehicle maker’s stock dropped 6.8% at $167.87 in New York on Monday, the lowest since November 2020.
Trader anxiety was higher after a city near Beijing returned to lockdowns, putting both production and sales at risk. Tesla also initiated a recall of more than 300,000 cars due to faulty taillights.
The company’s recent stock decline marks a major retracement of several milestones reached during its meteoric rise in 2020 and 2021.
Tesla was supplanted as the fifth-most valuable company on the S&P 500 Index by old-economy stalwart Berkshire Hathaway Inc. earlier this month.
The car company, which lost its trillion-dollar-valuation status in late April, only needs its shares to tumble another 5.7% from current levels for the valuation to drop below $500 billion, Bloomberg said in a report.
Besides, Musk has been preoccupied by his newly acquired social-media platform, leaving some investors to worry that Tesla’s strategy may fall to the wayside.
Musk wins Twitter, losses wealth
After much controversy, Musk finally acquired Twitter for $44 billion last month.
According to reports, Musk lost an estimated $33 billion in valuation in his bid to acquire the social media platform.
To finance his Twitter acquisition, Musk sold $15.3 billion of his Tesla shares: $8.4 billion in April and $6.9 billion in August.
He doesn’t have founder control of Tesla — an attribute he shares with Steve Jobs and one that distinguishes him from the next crop of tech founders such as Zuckerberg. That may leave him vulnerable to activist investors if Tesla suffers further.
Reuters calculated that Musk sold off around $32 billion worth of the Tesla’s stock in less than a year taking his share of the company from 20% down to 15%.
Layoffs to hurt
The layoff season in Twitter started just few hours after Musk acquired the social media giant. He immediately fired CEO aprag Agrawal, policy chief Vijaya Gadde and chief financial officer Nel Segal.
In the weeks that followed, mass layoffs began with close to 3,700 people losing their jobs. Many of them learned of this after their access to company-wide systems, like email and Slack, were suddenly suspended.
According to a Bloomberg report, Musk is pushing those who remain at the company to move quickly in shipping new features, and in some cases, employees have even slept at the office to meet new deadlines.
Latest reports suggest that Musk is now considering firing more Twitter employees, this time targeting the sales and partnership side of the business after mass resignations among engineers.
Musk had offered Twitter employees an ultimatum: either stay on and work long hours in a more “hardcore” version of Twitter, or leave with severance pay. More employees in technical roles opted to leave than expected, compared to those in sales, partnerships and similar roles, said the people, who declined to be named discussing internal matters.
In short, Twitter has lost already lost about 60% of its workforce since Musk took over. This has fuelled speculations among investors who have been questioning whether the billionaire is spreading himself too thin among his various high-profile ventures.
Global tech rout to blame?
The continuing fear of a global recession and record-high energy prices have resulted in muted to no growth in IT budgets of global corporations.
After experiencing phenomenonal boom during the Covid-19 lockdown phase, tech companies have been under pressure since the 8-9 months following subdued macroeconomic situations amid geopolitical uncertainties.
In addition, global financial markets are vulnerable to stress while monetary policy continues to tighten across major economies. More specifically, the US Federal Reserve is expected to hold rates at a higher level for a longer period to tame inflation.
Interestingly, tech billionaires were the ones who witnessed the maximum surge in their wealth just about a year ago with markets near all-time highs and venture capitalists pumping huge amounts of money into startups.
(With inputs from agencies)