Its market valuation, now standing at US$829 billion, only lags behind a handful of technology behemoths on the S&P 500 Index - Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc.
So here is Elon Musk's guide to success in business. The past year has seen his net worth rise more than $150 billion - possibly the fastest accumulation of wealth in history.
The achievement is based on an awesome run-up in Tesla's share price, the company gaining 7.94% in trading in a single day today, after rocketing almost 10x over the previous year. The electric carmaker manufactured over half-a-million units previous year, which is just a fraction of the output of automotive giants Ford Motor and General Motors. Those options would be worth US$12.3 billion ($15.88 billion) at the shares' current value, after taking into account the exercise price. It has gained another 10% so far over the first week of 2021. He reached the pinnacle Thursday thanks to Tesla's share price that has skyrocketed almost 830% since March 2020, along with a substantive pay package that was triggered after achieving certain market capitalization and profitability milestones. Musk now owns about 20% of the company and is heavily compensated in company stock. "Those securities come from two grants he received in 2012 and 2018, the latter of which was the largest pay deal ever struck between a CEO and a corporate board", adds the Bloomberg report.
He started 2020 with a worth of "only" about $27 billion, which is by no means bad, but meant he was barely in the top 50 of the world's richest people.
"Tesla's performance in 2020 was impressive, but not as impressive as the increase in its shares, which we continue to believe are overvalued", said a note earlier this week from JPMorgan Chase, which has an "underweight" on the equity.