Elon Musk has passed up Benedict Arnault as the richest person in the world according to the Forbes Real Time Billionaires list. Musk reclaims the spot he once enjoyed, boasting an unheard-of $210.7 billion net worth. Jeff Bezos, founder of retail giant Amazon, joins the top of the list at $197.4 billion.  Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE, has dropped from first to second with an astounding $201 billion.

Musk’s impressive wealth comes from various avenues that have brought his fame and fortune. In October of 2022, Musk purchased social media outlet Twitter, famously renaming it “X,” to the chagrin of many online users. This brought attention from around the world, serving to increase the platform’s presence.

Forbes updates their Billionaires list regularly to allow viewers to see in almost real-time who the richest people are on a global scale. Musk regained his top title as the richest person in the world, according to Forbes, on May 31, 2024. 

Arnault and Bezos come next on the list. Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Meta Platforms, Inc., comes in at number four with a whopping $163.9 billion. Other notable tech giants, such as Sergey Brin, Larry Page, and Larry Ellison, hold prominent positions on the list, demonstrating the tech industry’s enormous impact on the distribution of wealth throughout the world.

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The big question is whether Musk recently being accused of insider trading could make him lose the number one spot. According to the complaint, Musk unjustly benefited by around $3 billion when he sold over $7.5 billion worth of Tesla shares in late 2022, prior to the revelation of the company’s dismal production and delivery figures.

Michael Perry, the shareholder bringing the complaint, charged Musk with abusing his position at Tesla and failing to uphold his fiduciary obligations to the business. The complaint also names Tesla’s directors, claiming that even though they knew of the materially negative news, they let Musk sell the shares.

The case highlights the complexity and intense legal scrutiny that come with the enormous power and money that people like Musk possess. It calls into question corporate governance as well as CEOs’ responsibility to uphold just and open procedures inside their companies.

Musk and Tesla are anticipated to launch a forceful defense in response to the accusations, reiterating their commitment to morality and the law. Perry’s charges could significantly impact both Musk and Tesla and even potentially, the larger corporate world that watches on. It could also impact how communities see and interpret responsibility, honesty, and growth in businesses they once trusted. 

Finding himself at the top of the richest in the world list for a second time, Musk has achieved what few can boast of. Others who have enjoyed this placement include Bell Gates and Jeff Bezos, but both fell from the top after a time. With ongoing legal issues, it is unclear whether Musk will be able to hold the highest spot for long, but there is no doubt that he hopes to stay at number one.