Saturday, 23 October, 2021

Elon Musk trolls Jeff Bezos as he falls further behind in ‘world’s richest’ race


Elon Musk is currently the richest person on the planet, and he wants to make sure the world number two knows that.

The Tesla chief on Monday responded to a tweet by his rival Jeff Bezos with a silver medal emoji, as he left the Amazon founder further behind in the race to be the world’s richest person.

Musk’s personal wealth inflated to $222bn after the value of the entrepreneur’s SpaceX surged, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Bezos has a net worth of $191.6bn.

The apparent jibe by Musk was in response to Bezos’ post about an article from 1999, which criticised Amazon and predicted the e-commerce giant’s fall. The article had described Bezos as “just another middleman” and said that the idea that he has “pioneered a new business paradigm is silly”.

The article did not age well. Indicating this, Bezos wrote on Twitter on Sunday night: “Listen and be open, but don’t let anybody tell you who you are. Today, Amazon is one of the world’s most successful companies and has revolutionized two entirely different industries.”

While many, including Netflix co-ceo Reed Hastings, responded positively to that tweet and even praised Bezos, Musk’s response garnered the most reactions. In fact, his single-emoji tweet had received more likes and retweets than the Amazon chief’s original.

Musk overtook Bezos to become the world’s richest person earlier this year. On Friday, Musk added $9bn to his wealth in a single day after an agreement with investors saw SpaceX’s value rocket above $100bn.

This is not the first time Musk has presented a virtual second place medal to Bezos. After surpassing the Amazon boss’ wealth, the SpaceX co-founder took a celebratory crack by telling Forbes in an email that he would like to send Bezos a giant silver medal.

“I’m sending a giant statue of the digit ‘2’ to Jeffrey B, along with a silver medal,” Musk wrote in a short email to Forbes in September.

The rivals have gone back and forth as the richest people in the world in recent months, and remain embroiled in a race to revolutionise the space industry. The two have previously got into public spats with Musk calling Bezos a “copy cat” for his venture into space with Blue Origin.

Last year, Amazon also ventured into the self-driving car business by buying a startup that would compete with Musk’s Tesla.

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