Elon Musk’s feud with Bill Gates took a twist today as the Tesla founder overtook the Microsoft tycoon as the second richest man in the world.
Musk and Gates have been sniping at each other for months, with the younger billionaire recently calling his rival a “knucklehead” for criticising his efforts to help fight coronavirus.
Today, after another surge in Tesla’s share price, Musk’s wealth outpaced Gates’s, taking the 49-year-old’s net worth up by $7.2 billion to $127.9 billion.
Gates’s wealth of $127.7 billion would have been higher had he not given $27 billion of his fortune to his charitable foundation since 2006.
Musk is now second only to Amazon chief Jeff Bezos in the wealth stakes.
Bezos has $182 billion - up $67 billion on the year on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index compared with Musk’s $100 billion gain so far.
Gates has criticised Musk for “maintaining a high level of outrageous comments” in which he appeared to downplay the severity of the virus.
The older tycoon is one of the leading bodies aiding the vaccine effort.
But Musk counters that Tesla has been working with CureVac, a vaccine company in which Gates is an investor.
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index shows all but two of the top 10 to be Americans. French luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault is in fourth place at $105 billion and Indian Reliance Industries magnate Mukesh Ambani is in tenth place at $74 billion.
Britons do not feature until Ineos chemicals tycoon Jim Ratcliffe at 47th with a net worth of $26.3 billion.
James Dyson is 79th at $19.9 billion and Denise Coates, the betting billionaire, is in 148th place.
Nineteen of the top 100 are Chinese.
Here are the top 10
Jeff Bezos: $182 billion
Elon Musk: $128 billion
Bill Gates: $128 billion
Bernard Arnault: $105 billion
Mark Zuckerberg: $102 billion
Warren Buffett: $86.8 billion
Larry Page: $81.3 billion
Sergey Brin: $78.7 billion
Steve Ballmer: $76.1 billion
Mukesh Ambani: $74 billion.