Billionaire Elon Musk, formerly the richest man in the world, has broken a new record.
The Tesla founder and Twitter owner has become the first person in history to lose $200 billion of his net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index.
The multibillion-dollar carnage comes after Musk, 51, in 2021 became only the second person ever to amass a fortune above $200 billion, after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Musk, whose net worth peaked in November 2021 at $340 billion, has seen his wealth plummet to $137 million as Tesla shares have fallen 65% over the past year.
It has been the electric car manufacturer̵[ads1]7;s worst year to date.
The decline included an 11% drop on Tuesday alone after the Wall Street Journal reported that a surge in COVID cases had forced Tesla to temporarily halt production in Shanghai.
In a memo sent to employees on Wednesday, the billionaire thanked workers for their “exceptional execution” throughout the year while downplaying the company’s dismal stock performance.
“Don’t get too bothered by stock market craziness,” Musk said in the note obtained by CNBC.
“When we show continued excellent performance, the market will recognize that.”
Musk was stripped of his title as the world’s richest man earlier this month – when the baton was passed to Bernard Arnault, the French chairman and CEO of LVMH.
Musk’s historic loss is an indication of how high Musk and Tesla rose during the pandemic.
Despite owning only a small share of the electric car market, Tesla was valued at over $1 trillion by October 2021 — along with other tech giants such as Apple, Amazon and Google’s parent company Alphabet, Bloomberg reported.
But as competitors have quickly caught up and challenged Tesla’s dominance of the electric car market, Musk’s attention has focused on his latest venture as owner and CEO of social media giant Twitter.
According to the Bloomberg Wealth Index, Musk was forced to sell much of his Tesla stock this year as a result of his massive $44 billion purchase of Twitter.
Musk also currently owns a $44.8 billion stake in Space Exploration Technologies Corp — about 42.2% of the company, according to a recent filing reviewed by the news outlet.
Since his headline-grabbing Twitter takeover, Musk has taken major steps to cut costs at the social media company.
He has cut about 75% of his 7,500 employees and is closing the company’s Seattle offices after allegedly refusing to pay rent.