Elon Musk Net Worth 2022 – Salary, Income, Earnings

Elon Musk Net Worth

Elon Musk has an estimated net worth of $254 billionSouth African born entrepreneur Elon Musk is known for founding Tesla Motors and SpaceX, which launched a groundbreaking commercial spacecraft in 2012.

As CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO and chief product architect of Tesla Motors, and chairman of SolarCity, Elon Musk holds the record as the richest person in the world and the richest person in modern history.

Musk is Tesla’s largest shareholder, owning about 17 percent of the company’s stock, for a total of about 175 million shares. Last year, he sold 15 million shares worth more than $16 billion after polling his followers on Twitter. The automaker’s shares plunged 16 percent in the following two days of trading.

In addition, Musk owns about 44% of the aerospace giant SpaceX, which is currently valued at about $100 billion in the private markets. Musk was seeking a 25% increase in value, which would give SpaceX a market value of $125 billion.

During a 2019 court hearing, Musk stated he is actually rather cash-poor and 99% of his wealth comes from Tesla and SpaceX stock. The lawsuit revealed that Musk’s base salary at Tesla is $56,380. In most years, Musk forgoes that salary. 

At the time of the lawsuit, Musk owed Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs more than $500 million. About $60 million of his Morgan Stanley debt is in mortgages. He has since sold most of his properties and repaid the mortgage debt.

Musk reportedly burned through all of his cash from previous company sales to launch SpaceX.

To calculate the net worth of Elon Musk, subtract all his liabilities from his total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity he has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as loans and credit card debt, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of his net worth:

Name: Elon Musk
Net Worth: 254 billion
Monthly Salary: $0
Annual Income: $6 Billion+
Major Sources of Wealth: Zip2, Tesla, SpaceX, PayPal

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Net Worth History

Elon’s net worth was $28 billion on January 1, 2020. At the end of 2020, his net worth was $170 billion.

On July 10, 2020, Elon’s net worth exceeded $70 billion for the first time. At that point, SpaceX accounted for about $15 billion and Tesla for the remaining $55 billion.

When Elon’s net worth exceeded $80 billion for the first time on July 13, 2020, $15 billion came from SpaceX and $65 billion from Tesla.

Elon’s net worth exceeded $90 billion for the first time in August 2020, due to two major factors. Tesla shares hit an all-time high of $1,900 in mid-August. At that point, the company had a market capitalization of $350 billion. Elon’s 20% stake was worth about $70 billion. The second factor was an increase in SpaceX’s valuation, which was confirmed on August 18, 2020. SpaceX’s private valuation increased from $36 billion to $46 billion after the funding round. Elon’s 48% stake is valued at $46 billion, increasing Elon’s pre-tax net worth by $22 billion.

Elon’s net worth surpassed $100 billion for the first time on Nov. 17, 2020. At that moment, he overtook Mark Zuckerberg to become the third richest person in the world for the first time.

On November 24, 2020, Elon’s net worth exceeded $128 billion for the first time. At that moment, he was the second richest person in the world, overtaking Bill Gates. At that point, he was $54 billion away from Jeff Bezos’ net worth of $184 billion, and his net worth had officially increased by $100 billion since January 1, 2020.

Elon Musk’s net worth reached $195 billion on January 7, 2021. On that day, Elon Musk became the richest person in the world for the first time, overtaking Jeff Bezos.

Elon Musk ended the week with a net worth of $210 billion after starting the week with $170 billion.

In October 2021, when Tesla’s market capitalization reached $1 trillion and SpaceX was valued at $100 billion, Elon’s net worth was $300 billion.

On Nov. 1, 2021, when Tesla’s market capitalization reached $1.2 trillion, Elon Musk’s net worth was $335 billion.

Elon Musk Compensation Plan

Tesla’s board of directors announced a compensation plan for Musk in January 2018 that would eventually be worth $100 billion. Musk was supposed to receive up to $100 billion in stock options over a decade in 12-tranches. 

When Tesla reaches a market capitalization of $100 billion (roughly double the value when the plan was announced), the first chunk of options will be granted. Each time the company’s market cap grew by $50 billion after that, Elon received another of the tranches.

Bloomberg’s annual Pay Index shows that Elon Musk received $6.66 billion in compensation in 2020, more than twelve times the compensation of America’s second highest-paid CEO.

Musk has not yet received his billions in cash. In addition to his salary, he received option awards, allowing him to acquire Tesla shares at a set price.

Bloomberg’s list places Musk at the top for the third year in a row and is an increase in his projected 2019 compensation of $595 million.

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Elon Musk Salary

Tesla CEO Elon Musk did not receive a paycheck from the electric car maker in 2020.

Musk’s 2020 salary was zero, according to an update filed Friday with SEC.

In 2019, his salary was $23,760. In 2018, it was $56,380.

“However, he has never accepted his salary,” the company said. “Commencing in May 2019 at Mr. Musk’s request, we eliminated altogether the earning and accrual of this base salary.” 

The stock-based compensation is Musk’s entire compensation package under his 2018 compensation agreement. Based on his ability to drive the company to achieve certain operating metrics, his options vest.

The 10-year agreement includes 16 operating milestones. If Tesla achieves 12 of those milestones and the company’s market capitalization reaches $650 billion, Musk’s shares will vest as scheduled, the company said.

Tesla had reached six of those milestones as of Friday, the company said.

In 2019, Musk paid cash for $30.5 million worth of vested options but didn’t sell any of the shares purchased in that transaction, according to Friday’s documents. No purchase of vested options was listed for 2020. 

Under the 2018 agreement, Musk’s exercise price was $70.01 per share, according to SEC records. Tesla shares ended the week at $716.70 per share.

“Only time I sell Tesla stock is when my stock options are expiring & I have no choice,” Musk said on Twitter in June.

Bloomberg estimated last week that Musk’s total compensation for 2020 will be $6.7 billion, the highest of any US chief executive.

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Companies

Zip2 Corporation

In 1995, Musk co-founded Zip2 Corporation with his brother, Kimbal Musk. Zip2, an online city guide, was soon providing content for The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune’s new websites. Zip2 was purchased by a division of Compaq Computer Corporation in 1999 for $307 million in cash and $34 million in stock options.

PayPal

Elon and Kimbal Musk founded X.com, an online financial services/payments company, with the proceeds from the sale of Zip2. The following year, an X.com acquisition resulted in the formation of PayPal as it is known today.

Musk earned his first billion dollars in October 2002, when PayPal was acquired by eBay for $1.5 billion in stock. Musk owned 11% of PayPal stock prior to the sale.

SpaceX

Musk’s third company, Space Exploration Technologies Corporation, or SpaceX, was founded in 2002 with the goal of developing spacecraft for commercial space travel. By 2008, SpaceX had established itself, and NASA awarded the company the contract to handle cargo transport for the International Space Station—with future plans for astronaut transport—in an effort to replace NASA’s own space shuttle missions.

Falcon 9 Rockets

Musk and SpaceX made history on May 22, 2012, when the company launched its Falcon 9 rocket into space with an unmanned capsule. The vehicle was launched into space with 1,000 pounds of supplies for the astronauts stationed there, marking the first time a private company launched a spacecraft into orbit. Musk was quoted as saying about the launch, “I consider myself extremely fortunate… It’s like winning the Super Bowl for us.”

In December 2013, a Falcon 9 successfully delivered a satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit, the distance at which the satellite would lock into an orbital path that corresponded to the rotation of the Earth. In February 2015, SpaceX launched another Falcon 9 satellite equipped with the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), with the goal of observing the extreme solar emissions that affect power grids and communications systems on Earth.

In March 2017, SpaceX successfully tested and landed a Falcon 9 rocket made from reusable parts, paving the way for more affordable space travel.

An explosion occurred during a test of the company’s new Block 5 Merlin engine in November 2017. SpaceX reported that no one was injured and that the incident would not prevent the company from launching a new generation of Falcon 9 rockets.

The successful test launch of the powerful Falcon Heavy rocket in February 2018 marked another watershed moment for the company. The Falcon Heavy, which is equipped with additional Falcon 9 boosters, was designed to carry massive payloads into orbit and potentially serve as a vessel for deep space missions. The Falcon Heavy was loaded with a payload of Musk’s cherry-red Tesla Roadster, which was outfitted with cameras to “provide some epic views” for the vehicle’s planned orbit around the sun.

Space X celebrated the successful landing of a new Block 5 Falcon rocket in July 2018, which touched down on a drone ship less than 9 minutes after liftoff.

BFR Mission to Mars

Musk presented an updated design plan for his BFR (an acronym for “Big F—-ing Rocket” or “Big Falcon Rocket”), a 31-engine behemoth topped by a spaceship capable of carrying at least 100 people, in September 2017. He revealed that SpaceX intended to use the vehicle to launch the first cargo missions to Mars in 2022, as part of his overarching goal of colonizing the Red Planet.

In March 2018, the entrepreneur told a crowd at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, that he hoped to have the BFR ready for short flights early the following year, with a knowing nod to his previous difficulties meeting deadlines.

The following month, it was announced that SpaceX would build and house the BFR at the Port of Los Angeles. Because SpaceX’s mammoth rocket will only be movable by barge or ship when completed, the port property presented an ideal location.

Starlink Internet Satellites

The US government granted SpaceX permission in late March 2018 to launch a fleet of satellites into low orbit for the purpose of providing Internet service. The Starlink satellite network would ideally make broadband service more accessible in rural areas while also increasing competition in densely populated markets dominated by one or two providers.

SpaceX launched the first 60 satellites in May 2019, followed by another 60 satellite payload in November. While this represented significant progress for the Starlink project, the appearance of these bright orbiters in the night sky, with the possibility of thousands more to follow, concerned astronomers who believed that a proliferation of satellites would make studying distant objects in space more difficult.

Tesla Motors

Musk is the co-founder, CEO, and product architect of Tesla Motors, which was founded in 2003 with the goal of producing affordable, mass-market electric cars, as well as battery products and solar roofs. Musk is in charge of the company’s product development, engineering, and design.

Roadster

Tesla unveiled the Roadster, a sports car capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and traveling nearly 250 miles between charges of its lithium ion battery, five years after its formation, in March 2008.

Tesla Motors raised $226 million in its initial public offering in June 2010, with Daimler taking a stake in the company and a strategic partnership with Toyota.

Model S

Tesla announced plans for its Model S, the company’s first electric sedan designed to compete with the BMW 5 series, in August 2008. The Model S finally went into production in 2012, with a starting price of $58,570. It was named the 2013 Car of the Year by Motor Trend magazine, and it can travel 265 miles between charges.

Tesla announced in April 2017 that it had surpassed General Motors to become the most valuable car manufacturer in the United States. The news came as a welcome relief to Tesla, which was preparing to ramp up production and launch its Model 3 sedan later that year.

In September 2019, a Model S set a four-door sedan speed record at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey County, California, using what Musk described as a “Plaid powertrain.”

Model 3

Following extensive production delays, the Model 3 was officially launched in early 2019. The car was initially priced at $35,000, a much more affordable price point than Tesla’s Model S and X electric sedans, which start at $69,500 and go up from there.

Musk originally planned to produce 5,000 new Model 3 cars per week by December 2017, but that goal was pushed back to March 2018, and then to June with the start of the new year. The announced delay surprised no one in the industry, who were well aware of the company’s production issues, though some questioned how long investors would be patient with the process. It also didn’t stop Musk from securing a radical new compensation package as CEO, in which he would be paid based on reaching milestones of increasing valuation in $50 billion increments.

By April 2018, with Tesla expected to miss first-quarter production targets, news broke that Musk had replaced the head of engineering with himself to personally oversee efforts in that division. Musk told a reporter on Twitter that it was critical to “divide and conquer” in order to meet production targets and that he was “back to sleeping at the factory.”

Musk announced in June that Tesla would lay off 9% of its workforce, despite the fact that its production department would remain intact, after signaling that the company would reorganize its management structure. Musk explained his decision to eliminate some “duplication of roles” to cut costs in an email to employees, admitting it was time to take serious steps toward turning a profit.

The reorganization appeared to be paying off, as Tesla announced that it had met its goal of producing 5,000 Model 3 cars per week by the end of June 2018, while also producing 2,000 Model S sedans and Model X SUVs. “We did it!” Musk exclaimed to the company in a celebratory email. “What an incredible job done by an incredible team.”

Musk announced in February of the following year that the company was finally releasing its standard Model 3. Musk also stated that Tesla would be moving to all-online sales and that customers would be able to return their vehicles within seven days or 1,000 miles for a full refund.

Semi Truck

Musk made another splash in November 2017 when he unveiled the new Tesla Semi and Roadster at the company’s design studio. The semi-truck, which was supposed to go into production in 2019 but was delayed, has a range of 500 miles and a battery and motors designed to last a million miles.

Model Y and Roadster

Musk unveiled Tesla’s long-awaited Model Y in March 2019. The compact crossover, which went on sale in March 2020, has a 300-mile driving range and a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds.

The Roadster, which will also be available in 2020, will be the fastest production car ever built, with a 0 to 60 time of 1.9 seconds.

SolarCity

In August 2016, Musk announced a $2.6 billion dollar deal to combine his electric car and solar energy companies as part of his ongoing efforts to promote and advance sustainable energy and products for a broader consumer base. Tesla Motors Inc. announced an all-stock acquisition of SolarCity Corp., a company Musk founded with his cousins in 2006. He owns a majority stake in each company.

“When solar and storage are combined, they work best. Tesla (storage) and SolarCity (solar) can create fully integrated residential, commercial, and grid-scale products that improve the way energy is generated, stored, and consumed as one company,” according to a statement on Tesla’s website about the deal.

The Boring Company

Musk launched The Boring Company in January 2017, a company dedicated to boring and building tunnels to reduce street traffic. He began with a test dig on SpaceX’s Los Angeles property.

Musk posted the first photo of his company’s progress to his Instagram page in late October of that year. He estimated that the 500-foot tunnel, which would generally run parallel to Interstate 405, would be completed in four months.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority awarded TBC a $48.7 million contract in May 2019 to build an underground Loop system to shuttle people around the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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Musk’s Tweet and SEC Investigation

Musk dropped a bombshell in a tweet on August 7, 2018: “At $420, I’m thinking about going private with Tesla. Funding has been secured.” The announcement paved the way for legal action against the company and its founder, as the Securities and Exchange Commission began investigating whether Musk had indeed secured the funding he claimed. Several investors filed lawsuits alleging that Musk’s tweet was intended to manipulate stock prices and ambush short sellers.

Musk’s tweet triggered a spike in Tesla stock, which ended the day up 11%. Following up with a letter on the company blog, the CEO called the decision to go private “the best path forward.” He promised to keep his stake in the company and to set up a special fund to help all current investors stay on board.

Six days later, Musk issued a statement clarifying his position, citing discussions with the managing director of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund as the source of his “funding secured” declaration. He later tweeted that he was working on a proposal to take Tesla private with financial advisers Goldman Sachs and Silver Lake.

That day, rapper Azealia Banks posted on Instagram that, as a guest at Musk’s house at the time, she discovered that he was under the influence of LSD when he fired off his headline-grabbing tweet. Banks claimed she overheard Musk making phone calls to secure the funding he claimed was already secured.

The story quickly became more serious when it was revealed that Tesla’s outside directors had hired two law firms to deal with the SEC investigation and the CEO’s plans to take the company private.

Musk announced on August 24, one day after meeting with the board, that he had changed his mind and would not be taking the company private. He cited the preference of most directors to keep Tesla public, as well as the difficulty of retaining some of the large shareholders who were barred from investing in a private company, as reasons for his decision. Others speculated that Musk was swayed by the negative optics of an electric car company funded by Saudi Arabia, a country heavily involved in the oil industry.

As part of an agreement with the SEC, Musk agreed to pay a $20 million fine and step down as chairman of Tesla’s board for three years on September 29, 2018.

Inventions and Innovations

Hyperloop

Musk unveiled a concept for a new mode of transportation called the “Hyperloop” in August 2013, an invention that would promote commuting between major cities while drastically reducing travel time. The Hyperloop, which would be weather-resistant and powered by renewable energy, would propel riders in pods through a network of low-pressure tubes at speeds of up to 700 mph. Musk stated that the Hyperloop could take seven to ten years to complete and be ready for use.

Despite Musk’s claims that the Hyperloop would be safer than a plane or train, and with an estimated cost of $6 billion — roughly one-tenth of the cost of the rail system planned by the state of California — his concept has been met with skepticism. Nonetheless, the entrepreneur has attempted to foster the growth of this concept.

The first Hyperloop Pod Competition was held at the SpaceX facility in January 2017 after he announced a competition for teams to submit their designs for a Hyperloop pod prototype. A German student engineering team set a speed record of 284 mph at competition No. 3 in 2018, and the same team improved the record to 287 mph the following year.

AI and Neuralink

Musk has developed an interest in artificial intelligence, serving as co-chair of the non-profit OpenAI. The research firm was founded in late 2015 with the stated goal of advancing digital intelligence for the benefit of humanity.

In 2017, it was also revealed that Musk was investing in a company called Neuralink, which aims to develop devices that can be implanted in the human brain and help people merge with software. During a July 2019 discussion, he elaborated on the company’s progress, revealing that its devices will consist of a microscopic chip that connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth.

High-Speed Train

Musk tweeted in late November 2017 that he was all-in on the competition with The Boring Company after Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel asked for proposals to build and operate a high-speed rail line that would transport passengers from O’Hare Airport to downtown Chicago in 20 minutes or less. The Chicago loop, he said, would be different from his Hyperloop because of its shorter route, which would not necessitate drawing a vacuum to eliminate air friction.

Musk announced in the summer of 2018 that he would cover the estimated $1 billion cost of digging the 17-mile tunnel from the airport to downtown Chicago. However, in late 2019, he tweeted that TBC would focus on finishing the commercial tunnel in Las Vegas before moving on to other projects, implying that plans for Chicago would be put on hold for the time being.

Flamethrower

Musk is also said to have discovered a market for The Boring Company’s flamethrowers. He claimed to have sold 10,000 of them in a single day after announcing they would be available for $500 each in late January 2018.

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Early Life

Musk was born in Pretoria, South Africa, on June 28, 1971. Musk was so engrossed in his daydreams about inventions as a child that his parents and doctors ordered a hearing test.

Musk developed an interest in computers around the time of his parents’ divorce, when he was 10 years old. He taught himself to program and sold his first piece of software, a game called Blastar, when he was 12 years old.

Musk was short, introverted, and bookish in elementary school. He was bullied until he was 15, when he went through a growth spurt and learned karate and wrestling to defend himself.

Family

Maye Musk, Musk’s mother, is a Canadian model and the oldest woman to appear in a Covergirl campaign. Musk used to work five jobs to support her family when she was younger.

Errol Musk, Musk’s father, is a wealthy South African engineer.

Musk spent his early childhood in South Africa with his brother Kimbal and sister Tosca. His parents divorced when he was ten years old.

Education

Musk moved to Canada in 1989, at the age of 17, to attend Queen’s University and avoid military service in South Africa. Musk obtained Canadian citizenship that same year, partly because he believed it would be easier to obtain American citizenship through that route.

Musk moved to the United States in 1992 to study business and physics at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned an undergraduate degree in economics before continuing on to earn a second bachelor’s degree in physics.

Musk left Penn to pursue a PhD in energy physics at Stanford University in California. His decision, however, coincided with the Internet boom, and he dropped out of Stanford after only two days to become a part of it, launching his first company, Zip2 Corporation, in 1995. Musk obtained US citizenship in 2002.

Personal Life

Wives and Children

Musk has had two marriages. In 2000, he married Justine Wilson, with whom he had six children. Their first son died at the age of 10 weeks from sudden infant death syndrome in 2002. (SIDS). Musk and Wilson had five more sons: twins Griffin and Xavier (born in 2004), as well as triplets Kai, Saxon, and Damian (born in 2006).

Musk met actress Talulah Riley after a contentious divorce from Wilson. In 2010, the couple married. They divorced in 2012, but remarried in 2013. Their marriage eventually ended in divorce in 2016.

Girlfriends

Musk reportedly started dating actress Amber Heard in 2016 after his divorce from Riley and Heard’s divorce from Johnny Depp. Due to their hectic schedules, the couple split in August 2017; they reconciled in January 2018 before splitting again one month later.

Musk began dating musician Grimes in May 2018. (born Claire Boucher). That month, Grimes announced that she had changed her name to “c,” the symbol for the speed of light, allegedly at Musk’s request. Fans chastised the feminist performer for dating a billionaire whose company has been described as a “predator zone” due to sexual harassment allegations.

In a March 2019 feature in the Wall Street Journal Magazine, the couple discussed their love for one another, with Grimes saying, “Look, I love him, he’s great…

I mean, he’s a goddamn interesting person.” “I love c’s wild fae artistic creativity and hyper-intense work ethic,” Musk told the Journal.

Grimes gave birth to their son on May 4, 2020, and Musk announced the boy’s name as “X A-12.” Later that month, after it was reported that the State of California would not accept a name with a number, the couple announced that their son’s name would be changed to “X A-Xii.”

In December 2021, Musk and Grimes welcomed their second child, a daughter named Exa Dark Siderael Musk. The child was born through the use of a surrogate.

Nonprofit Work

Musk’s enduring interests have become the boundless potential of space exploration and the preservation of the human race’s future, and he has founded the Musk Foundation, which is dedicated to space exploration and the discovery of renewable and clean energy sources.

Musk pledged $1 million to the #TeamTrees campaign in October 2019, with the goal of planting 20 million trees worldwide by 2020. For the occasion, he even changed his Twitter handle to Treelon.

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Relationship with Donald Trump

Musk was appointed to President Trump’s Strategy and Policy Forum in December 2016, and he joined Trump’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative the following January. Following Trump’s election, Musk found himself on common ground with the new president and his advisers, as the president announced plans to invest heavily in infrastructure.

While Musk has been critical of the president’s controversial policies, such as a proposed ban on immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, he has defended his involvement with the new administration. “My goals,” he tweeted in early 2017, “are to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy and to assist humanity in becoming a multi-planet civilization, as a result of which hundreds of thousands of jobs will be created and a more inspiring future for all.”

Musk stepped down from his advisory roles on June 1, following Trump’s announcement that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.

Favorite Elon Musk Quotes

“I think it is possible for ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.”

 

“Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”

If you’re trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion.

 

Patience is a virtue, and I’m learning patience. It’s a tough lesson.

 

I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better.

Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.

 

I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.

Really, the only thing that makes sense

is to strive for greater collective enlightenment.

 

When something is important enough,

you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.

View our larger collection of Elon Musk quotes.

Further Reading

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