With the liftoff and explosion of his Starship rocket, and a number of high-profile celebrities reacting to the loss of their blue verification check mark on Twitter, it has been a tumultuous 24 hours for Elon Musk. His personal fortune is thought to have dwindled by nearly $13 billion as the drama unfolded.
Musk’s SpaceX was expected to make big news as Starship soared to the skies and made its way to orbit. However, minutes after the launch, the booster of the largest rocket ever built failed to separate, followed by “rapid unscheduled disassembly”.
While Musk had termed the test launch a success, he cannot put to spin on how the markets responded to what his empire of companies is going through at the moment.
What happened at Tesla and Twitter?
Even as hopes of seeing the Starship soar to orbit came crashing down, stock prices of Musk’s electric vehicle-making company, Tesla, slumped by nearly 10 percent. This happened after the company reported a 24 percent year-on-year dip in profits.
As the competition in the EV market heats up, Tesla has announced multiple price cuts this year, which has impacted its profits in the last quarter. The company stock closed at $162.99 on Thursday, according to Bloomberg. That number is far below Tesla’s all-time high of $407 a share in November 2021.
As a result, Musk’s personal wealth, which is directly impacted by the price of publicly held Tesla stock fell by $12.6 billion, and was estimated to be around $163.9 billion, far behind Louis Vuitton chairman and CEO, Bernard Arnault. The two billionaires have been jostling for the top spot since December last year, but Arnault seems to have taken a sizeable lead now that his personal fortune is estimated to be around $211 billion.
Much of Musk’s loss of personal wealth has been attributed to his decision to buy Twitter at $44 billion and take up the role of the CEO. In addition to letting go large numbers of staff, Musk has also instituted a host of changes, such as putting an end of the legacy system of verified accounts.
Under Musk’s leadership, only Twitter Blue subscribers who pay $8 a month for premium services can now get the coveted blue tick on the platform. Popular social icons and celebrities who chose not to subscribe have now begun to lose their blue ticks on the platform, with many announcing that they will no longer post on the platform as they can now be impersonated easily.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is among those whose handle is without a tick, alongside many journalists and politicians who chose not to subscribe to Twitter Blue. Companies and organizations need to cough up $1,000 a month for the same service, a move many offices have slammed, according to Business Insider.