Musk Surpasses Zuckerberg in Wealth as Fortunes Shift

Tech giants navigate market challenges amid AI investment surge

by Zain ul Abedin
Musk Surpasses Zuckerberg in Wealth as Fortunes Shift
© Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Elon Musk has once again edged past Mark Zuckerberg in the billionaire rankings, as Meta Platforms Inc. faces a significant downturn. Musk's ascent is marked by Tesla Inc.' s recent stock rally, contrasting sharply with Zuckerberg's $18 billion loss following a dramatic drop in Meta shares.

Meta's stock plunged 11% in New York trading on Thursday after the company forecasted lower-than-expected sales for the second quarter. This drop resulted in Zuckerberg experiencing one of the largest single-day declines in net worth recorded among those listed in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, bringing his total to $157 billion.

Concurrently, Musk's fortune increased by $5.8 billion, reaching $184 billion thanks to Tesla's ongoing post-earnings surge. The reversal in fortunes is part of a larger narrative that saw Zuckerberg, at 39, briefly overtake 52-year-old Musk earlier this month.

This shift occurred after Tesla reported a decrease in vehicle deliveries for the first quarter of the year, marking the first time Zuckerberg had surpassed Musk since 2020.

Fortunes Fluctuate Sharply

Meta, headquartered in Menlo Park, California, saw its largest stock decline since October 2022.

This was precipitated by increased spending forecasts and second-quarter sales projections that fell short of Wall Street's expectations. These developments have reignited concerns about the viability of Meta's substantial investments in artificial intelligence.

Despite the recent decline, Meta's stock has gained 25% year-to-date, buoyed by the market's growing enthusiasm for AI technologies. Meanwhile, shares of Tesla, based in Austin, Texas, surged 12% on Wednesday and an additional 5% on Thursday.

Musk's promise to introduce more affordable vehicles later this year has alleviated some investor worries about the electric vehicle maker's earnings disappointments and growth concerns. Prior to this rally, Tesla was among the poorest performers in the S&P 500 Index, with a 42% drop up to Tuesday's close.

Musk's wealth stems largely from his stakes in Tesla, Space Exploration Technologies, and X (formerly known as Twitter), while Zuckerberg's fortune is primarily linked to his ownership in Meta. Beyond their financial standings, the rivalry between Musk and Zuckerberg has spilled over into the public arena, particularly as tensions flared with the launch of Meta's new social media platform, Threads, which directly competes with Musk's X.

This competition even escalated to personal exchanges, with the billionaires at one point jesting about a potential "cage fight."