Elon Musk Dethroned From Forbes Annual 'World's Billionaires List' by Frenchman Bernard Arnault
Elon Musk is no longer the world’s richest person alive. The Tesla founder and Twitter CEO was knocked off the top spot on Forbes’ 2023 billionaires list by fashion industry exec Bernard Arnault of France, who has a $211 billion fortune, the publication announced Tuesday. Following his $44 billion USD acquisition of Twitter, Musk’s wealth has declined to be worth $180 billion USD, which is $39 billion USD than his wealth last year.
The top spot has been awarded to Bernard Arnault, the chairman of French luxury goods giant LVMH. His net worth increased more than $50 billion in the past year to $211 billion. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to Musk, whose position wobbled on the Forbes’ “Real-Time Billionaires” list, which is updated daily, for the past several months. He and Arnault often switch places.
However, Tuesday’s list tracks his wealth annually. Forbes explained that Musk’s wealth had fallen because his $44 billion Twitter purchase, funded by Tesla shares, scared investors and sent Tesla stock sinking sharply last year. Tesla gained much of those losses back this year but is still significantly lower than before Musk bought Twitter.
Forbes said that “Musk has mostly tweeted himself out of the top spot on the ranks” because Tesla shares are down 50% since his Twitter takeover a year ago. SpaceX is a bright spot for the billionaire, the magazine notes since its valuation has increased $13 billion to $140 billion over the past year, CNN reported.
The 74-year-old CEO of LVMH, the parent company of over 70 high-end brands like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Tiffany’s, Marc Jacobs, Sephora, Fenty Beauty, and more, added a whopping $53 billion to his net worth over the past 12 months — the largest jump of any billionaire this year, Forbes reported. Arnault claimed Musk’s number-one spot in last year’s list with $31 billion more than the 51-year-old SpaceX CEO.
For the past three years, he has been third on the Billionaires list behind Musk and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. The Frenchman first made the Forbes list in 1997 when he was worth $3.1 billion and rose through the ranks in the years following until he hit the top five richest people in 2011. He has been the head of LVMH for roughly three decades and helped grow the luxury goods company’s revenue from $4 billion in 1989 to $86 billion last year, according to the outlet. Stock in the company soared 35% over the past year.
Forbes said that the total number of billionaires on this year’s list fell to 2,640 (down from 2,668), marking the second-straight year of decline. “It’s been another rare down year for the planet’s richest people,” said Chase Peterson-Withorn, Forbes senior editor of wealth, in a release. “Nearly half the list is poorer than they were 12 months ago, but a lucky few are billions — or even tens of billions — of dollars richer.”