‘How strange’: Elon Musk is world’s richest man
Tesla's founder has become the world's richest man after the value of stock in his company surged.
Elon Musk, 49, responded to the news as he often does on Twitter.
"How strange," he wrote in response to a post from a Tesla owners club reporting his new title, before announcing he was "back to work".
Well, back to work …— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2021
He didn't stop to brag or boast but did make one acknowledgment of his success after the author of a top-selling biography shared his surprise, saying he never expected he was writing about the future richest man "because his companies were so risky".
Mr Musk agreed it was "true" that his was one of "the most unlikely business stories of all time".
True— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 7, 2021
Stock in Tesla rose to close at $US816.04 ($A1050.37) on Thursday, adding to Mr Musk's net worth and also helping the company overtake Facebook to become the fifth biggest by market value, behind Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google.
RELATED: Musk a step closer to 'homeless'
RELATED: Elon Musk's bold $9 billion move
The value is thought to have surged off the back of unexpected results in the US election run-off ballot in Georgia, which appears to have elected two more Democrats, splitting the Congress and handing a tie-breaking vote to incoming vice president Kamala Harris.
This could clear hurdles for environmental reforms which the electric vehicle maker would likely benefit from.
Tesla's shares are worth more than 10 times what they have been at some points in the last year. At one time - which you'd love a time machine for - the company's shares could be snapped up for just $US70.10 ($A90.23).
According to Bloomberg, Mr Musk overtook Amazon boss Jeff Bezos to reach a net worth of $US188.5 billion ($A242.6 billion). Mr Bezos had held the title of world's richest man since March 2018.
The pair also compete in the private space exploration field, through their companies SpaceX and Blue Origin.
Mr Musk's wealth comes primarily from his stake in Tesla: He owns around 20 per cent of the company and is adding to that.
He doesn't take a salary but has a deal that enriches him with stock options when the company passes lofty performance milestones.
Originally published as 'How strange': Elon is world's richest man