Elon Musk loses crown as world’s richest person—just 48 hours after regaining it

Elon Musk, pictured at the 2022 Met Gala, is no longer the richest person in the world.
Dimitrios Kambouris—Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

Elon Musk is no longer the world’s richest person after being overtaken—again—by French billionaire Bernard Arnault.

On Tuesday, Fortune reported that Arnault—founder of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH—had been overtaken in the ranking by Musk, whose net worth was boosted as Tesla shares enjoyed a major rally.

However, shares of the world’s most valuable carmaker—where much of Musk’s fortune is tied up—tumbled more than 5% on Wednesday after traders were left disappointed by Tesla’s 2023 Investor Day.

According to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, which tracks the real-time wealth of the world’s richest people, Musk lost more than $1.9 billion on Wednesday—causing him to slide into second place behind the LVMH boss.

Arnault’s wealth, meanwhile, went up by around $2 billion, after a €1.5 billion ($1.6 billion) share buyback sent the company’s stock ticking upward and cemented its status as Europe’s most valuable firm.

However, Paris-listed LVMH stock was trading around 1% lower during European trading hours on Thursday.

Bloomberg puts Arnault and Musk’s net worths at $186 billion and $184 billion respectively.

A separate wealth ranking by Forbes also estimates that Arnault’s wealth has overtaken Musk’s once more.

The Forbes tracker, which uses a slightly different methodology from Bloomberg, estimates Arnault’s net worth at $205 billion and Musk’s at $194 billion.

Arnault, who serves as LVMH’s chairman and CEO, controls about half of the luxury goods giant. He became its majority shareholder in 1989.

Musk, meanwhile, saw his wealth propelled upward with the meteoric rise in value of Tesla share prices, which rose more than 4,000% in the decade since their IPO. He also owns more than 40% of existing shares in SpaceX, according to CNBC, which was reportedly given a private valuation of $137 billion last month.

Despite remaining one of the richest people on the planet, Musk’s wealth has fallen drastically on the back of his Twitter acquisition and a raft of problems at Tesla, including slowing sales. In late 2021, Forbes named him the richest person in history with a fortune nearing $300 billion.

The tight and changeable gap between the two men’s wealth has seen them switch places in the ranking of world’s wealthiest people numerous times over the past year.

At the end of 2022, Arnault surpassed Musk to become the world’s richest person, as Tesla shares suffered a major selloff in the wake of Musk’s $44 billion purchase of Twitter. He had briefly overtaken Musk just a week earlier.

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