Losing $470 million a day: Elon Musk hits a staggering milestone

Elon Musk’s losses for 2022 have topped $US100 billion ($151.4 million) as shares of Tesla dropped to the lowest level in two years.

The Tesla co-founder is still the world’s richest person with a fortune of $US170 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, even after seeing his net worth shrink by $US8.6 billion on Monday. He’s down $US101 billion this year — the most of anyone on the wealth index — after peaking at $US340 billion a little more than a year ago.

That equates to an average daily loss of some $US310.8 million ($470.5 million) this year so far.

It’s been an expensive year so far for Elon Musk.Credit:AP

The electric-car maker comprises the bulk of his fortune and is struggling with burgeoning COVID-related restrictions in China, its largest market outside of the US.

The Austin, Texas-based firm recently announced a recall of more than 300,000 cars due to faulty taillights, while also dealing with supply-chain snarls and soaring raw material costs.

Tesla shares dropped 6.8 per cent to $US167.87 in New York trading on Monday — the lowest since November 2020 — and are down 52 per cent this year. That compares with a 29 per cent decline in the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 Index.

Musk, 51, has also been preoccupied with Twitter, the social-media network he acquired last month for $US44 billion. The company has lost about 60 per cent of its workforce since Musk took over, with the latest round of layoffs coming on Sunday. Investors have been questioning whether the billionaire is spreading himself too thin among his various high-profile ventures.

Tesla’s dependence on Musk is listed as a risk factor in its security filings, highlighting that “although Mr Musk spends significant time with Tesla and is highly active in our management, he does not devote his full time and attention to Tesla.”

Last Thursday, hundreds of Twitter employees resigned en masse after Musk gave them a deadline to decide whether to leave or stay. So many workers chose to depart that Twitter users began questioning whether the site would survive, tweeting farewell messages to the service and turning hashtags such as #TwitterMigration and #TwitterTakeover into trending topics.

Some internal estimates showed that at least 1200 full-time employees resigned on Thursday, three people close to the company said. Twitter had 7500 full-time employees at the end of October, which dropped to about 3700 after mass layoffs earlier this month.

Bloomberg, with The New York Times

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