Elon Musk’s losses for 2022 topped US$100-billion (R1.7-trillion) as shares of Tesla dropped to the lowest level in two years.
The Tesla co-founder is still the world’s richest person with a fortune of $169.8-billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, even after seeing his net worth shrink by $8.6-billion on Monday. He’s down $100.5-billion this year — the most of anyone on the wealth index — after peaking at $340-billion a little more than a year ago.
The electric car maker comprises the bulk of his fortune and is struggling with burgeoning Covid-related restrictions in China, its largest market outside of the US. The Austin, Texas-based firm recently announced a recall of more than 300 000 cars due to faulty taillights, while also dealing with supply-chain snarls and soaring raw material costs.
Tesla shares dropped 6.8% to $167.87 in New York trading Monday — the lowest since November 2020 — and are down 52% this year. That compares to a 29% decline in the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 Index.
Musk, 51, has also been preoccupied with Twitter, the social media network he acquired last month for $44-billion. The company has lost about 60% of its workforce since Musk took over, with the latest round of layoffs coming on Sunday. Investors have been questioning whether the billionaire is spreading himself too thin among his various high-profile ventures.
Tesla’s dependence on Musk is listed as a risk factor in its security filings, highlighting that “although Mr Musk spends significant time with Tesla and is highly active in our management, he does not devote his full time and attention to Tesla”. — Bloomberg