Elon Musk has lost more than $50bn (about £37bn) in two days after his Twitter poll asked whether he should sell 10 percent of his Tesla shares.
According to a report by Bloomberg Wealth, this is also the biggest drop in two days in the history of Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
While Musk is still the world’s richest person with a net worth of $323 billion, the loss has narrowed the gap between Tesla chief and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to nearly $83 billion.
Tesla shares began to fall after Musk’s Twitter poll ended. He tweeted on Sunday to his 62 million followers asking if he wanted him to sell 10 percent of his stock in Tesla, which is worth about $21 billion. He wrote: “The unrealized profit being a tax avoidance tool has made a lot of sense lately, so I propose to sell 10 percent of my Tesla stock. Do you support that?”
3.5 million votes were cast, of which 58 per cent votes were in favor of him selling his stock.
The Tesla chief had said he would “follow the results of this poll”, whatever the way. “I do not take cash salary or bonus from anywhere. I only own the stock, thus the only way for me personally to pay taxes is to sell the stock,” Musk said.
He previously claimed that he would make such transactions through his shares in Tesla, and would donate profits to fight world hunger if the United Nations offered a transparent plan to do so.
Shares came under more pressure as well-known short-seller Michael Burry mentioned in a now-deleted tweet that Musk may be looking to sell his shares to cover his personal debts.
Adding to the woes was news that Musk’s cousin, Kimbal Musk, sold more than $100 million worth of Tesla shares last month.
Despite reportedly losing more than $50 billion, Musk’s fortunes have still risen by more than 70 percent this year, largely thanks to his 23 percent stake in Tesla.
The company recently hit a market capitalization of more than $1 trillion for the first time after American car rental company Hertz placed an order for 100,000 cars with Tesla.
The market value of Tesla exceeds the combined market value of the largest automobile manufacturers around the world such as Toyota, Volkswagen and Ford.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /