Elon Musk has secured a world record for the largest loss of personal fortune in history, Guinness World Record (GWR) said on Friday. In a blog post, the organisation cited Forbes’ estimate that Mr Musk had lost around $182 billion since November 2021 but noted that other sources indicate the figure is close to $200 billion.
“Although the exact figure is almost impossible to ascertain, Musk’s total losses far surpass the previous record of $58.6 billion, set by Japanese tech investor Masayoshi Son in 2000,” GWR wrote in its blog.
According to The Hill, Elon Musk’s net worth dropped from $320 billion in November 2021 to $137 billion as of January 2023, largely due to the poor performance of Tesla’s stock. The outlet reported that Mr Musk sold $7 billion worth of Tesla stock as he was trying to finance his deal to buy Twitter and another $4 billion in November. Last month, he sold another $3.58 billion worth of stock, bringing his total sell-off to more than $23 billion since April.
“Musk’s misfortunes also saw him lose his status as the world’s richest person to Bernard Arnault (France), founder of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy), who has an estimated net worth of $190 billion,” GRW said.
The organisation also noted that this alarming decline accelerated in October after Mr Musk bought Twitter for roughly $44 billion. “The tumultuous takeover, coupled with Musk’s polarizing behaviour on the platform, sparked the biggest Tesla stock sell-off since the company went public in 2010,” it added.
Meanwhile, Guinness said that in the case of Masayoshi Son, whose net worth declined from a peak of $78 billion in February 2000 to $19.4 billion in July of the same year, the value of his company, Softbank, was wiped out by the dot-com crash. The firm eventually acquired several US and British technology companies, allowing it to rebound. “As Elon Musk continues to build his own tech conglomerate, we won’t be surprised to see him bounce back too at some point in the future,” the Guinness blog post said.