Elon Musk reached a new height of wealth on Friday after his net worth hit $230 billion, the amount of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet’s fortunes combined.
The 50-year-old is now not only the richest person on Earth but his wealth is exponentially greater than his peers. This shift was marked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, on which Musk is the top, Gates is the fourth with a net worth of $130 billion, and Buffett is tenth with $102 billion.
This achievement is also notable since both Gates and Buffett were previously ranked as the world’s richest person, the designation the Tesla and SpaceX CEO now holds. Musk first surpassed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to reach the top spot on the ranking in January, but Bezos quickly edged back to the front. Musk rose back to the number one spot late this September and has held it ever since.
When Forbes asked Musk for a comment on his new top spot in the ranking, Musk responded with this:
“I’m sending a giant statue of the digit ‘2’ to Jeffrey B., along with a silver medal.”
Inside Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos’ feud
It’s safe to say that Musk’s comment was not a friendly jab. The two figures, and their fight for dominance over aerospace engineering and the prospective space tourism industry, have often been contentious.
The culmination of their space race came when Blue Origin lost its bid for a contract to build NASA’s forthcoming lunar lander. The federal space agency gave the $2.9 billion contract to SpaceX in April, and Bezos’ company threatened litigation:
“We firmly believe that the issues identified with NASA’s lunar lander procurement and its outcomes must be addressed to create competition and ensure a safe return to the moon for America. We’ve been engaged in conversations with NASA since the GAO announcement. We continue to point out the issues in the prior selection process. We’ve also confirmed that adding a second lunar lander award to Appendix H is legal and appropriate and we, today, have an open contract. We are hopeful that NASA will take advantage of our offer and we can all get to work.”
Musk responded to Christian Davenport, the Washington Post’s space reporter who received this statement from Blue Origin and posted it to Twitter, with an image of Blue Origin’s lander design, mocking its construction in the caption, deadpanning that NASA found Blue Origin’s lander “unconvincing.”
Bezos, who is more restrained within public than his South African rival, has dismissed some of Musk’s central interests, like colonizing Mars, in more indirect ways: “My friends who want to move to Mars? I say, ‘Do me a favor. Go live on the top of Mount Everest for a year first and see if you like it—because it’s a garden paradise compared to Mars.”