After over a year as the world’s richest person, Elon Musk fell to second place this week after the price of Tesla (TSLA) shares dropped. LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault is now in the No.1 spot with a personal value of $188.6 billion according to the Forbes Real Time Billionaires list.
Musk’s wealth peaked at $340 billion, The Economist reported. He overtook Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as the wealthiest person in the world in September of 2021. But his wealth has dropped along with Tesla’s share price in recent months after a string of questionable business moves, including purchasing the social media platform Twitter for $44 billion in October.
Forbes reported Musk’s fall from No. 1 after Tesla’s shares dropped 6% Monday. Forbes reported part of the decline was because of Musk’s erratic online activity over the weekend and negative public perception.
On Saturday, the Musk tweeted an out-of-context excerpt from 2016 academic writings of Twitter’s former head of trust and safety, Yoel Roth. The tweet implied that Roth’s research with the University of Pennsylvania promoted child exploitation, leading to Roth and his family fleeing their home after receiving threats.
On Sunday, Musk tweeted his pronouns were “Prosecute/Fauci,” and on Monday, he tweeted, “the woke mind virus is either defeated or nothing else matters.”
On Sunday night, Musk appeared on stage with comedian Dave Chappell in San Fransisco, where he was booed by the crowd for almost 10 minutes.
Financial analysts say investors are losing confidence in Musk and his companies. Most of Musk’s wealth comes from Tesla, and as Musk appears to be straying from Tesla to Twitter, investors are rethinking their relationships with the man and his brand.
“At such a key time for Tesla, Musk is focusing all his energy on Twitter, which is not a good look and an overhang on Tesla,” Wedbush analyst Dan Ives told Forbes. “The tweets by Musk are creating more noise, which creates a negative for Twitter and therefore Tesla.”
Arnault and Musk have been tussling for the title of world’s richest person for days, Forbes reported. Arnault is the chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading group for luxury brands based in Paris. Arnault owns 48% of the company that owns Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Christian Dior and Tiffany & Co. He became the majority shareholder of the company in 1989.
Arnault, 73, saw his value increase by 1.44% or $2.7 billion to $188.6 billion by Monday’s close of the U.S. stock markets.