Elon Musk, the richest person in the world, lost $35 billion through Tuesday’s trading session.
Bloomberg Billionaires Index has never seen a decline as large, and it’s the biggest decline in one day since Jeff Bezos’s $36 billion plunge after his split from MacKenzie Scott in 2019.
Despite Tesla’s slump, the automaker has posted a turbulent few days. Earlier this weekend, Musk tweeted a request to his Twitter followers asking them whether they should sell 10% of their stake in the company. Minutes later, his brother Kimbal sold shares of the company.
The drop narrows Musk’s lead over Bezos to $82 billion as the world’s richest person. In January, Musk passed the founder of Amazon.com for the top spot for the first time, and the gap between them has recently grown as wide as $143 billion, a figure greater than the net worth of Bill Gates, the fourth-richest person on earth.
After Tesla CEO over the weekend proposed selling 10% of his shares in the electric vehicle business, Tesla stock closed down 12% on Tuesday, extending losses for a second day.
Stocks fell nearly 5% on Monday, tempering a mostly upward trend for the year. The drop could prove to be the largest of the year. The company reported improved automotive margins and managed to ramp up production despite a chip shortage while competitors faltered. This has resulted in shares of Tesla rising more than 47% this year and more than doubling from one year ago.
Since October 28, when Tesla’s market cap surpassed $1 trillion, current and former board members have also sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Tesla stock, including chairwoman Robyn Denholm.
As part of Musk’s 2012 CEO performance plan, the company awarded him a substantial package of options. The only source of his wealth comes from the stock awards and gains in Tesla’s share price since he does not take a salary or cash bonus. In 2012, shares with a strike price of $6.24 per share were awarded for 22.8 million shares. The shares will expire on August 13, 2022.