January 29, 2022

Elon Musk named personality of the year by “Time” magazine

“He doesn’t own a house, he sold part of his Tesla shares and (…) tweets his toilet “ : Elon Musk, boss of Tesla and SpaceX and the richest man on the planet, was named, Monday, December 13, personality of the year 2021 by the magazine Time.

At the head of a fortune estimated by Forbes At more than $ 260 billion, Mr. Musk, 50, will have left his mark on 2021, as much for his entrepreneurial successes as his projections on Twitter.

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“The personality of the year is a marker of influence”, wrote in an editorial the editor-in-chief of Time, Edward Felsenthal. “Few people have as much influence as Mr. Musk over life on Earth and potentially life outside of Earth as well. “

With the space exploration company SpaceX, which he founded in 2002, he has had a series of successes, from an exclusive contract signed with NASA to build the next moon landing module of the American agency to the first orbital mission. history with no professional astronaut on board. “The overall goal is to allow life to develop on several planets and to make humanity a space civilization”, Musk said in an interview with Time.

“The next big goal is to build a self-sustaining city on Mars and bring in animals and creatures on Earth. A bit like a Noah’s ark from the future ”, adds the entrepreneur of South African origin, naturalized Canadian then American.

Tesla, which Musk has led since 2008, also had a boom year, continuing to lead the coveted electric vehicle market. On Wall Street, the company – which began in 2020 to rake in profits for a whole year – has joined the very small club of groups worth more than $ 1,000 billion on the stock market. In the third quarter, it delivered more than 240,000 vehicles, a record. “Our goal with Tesla has always been to serve as an example for the automotive industry by hoping that other manufacturers will also manufacture electric vehicles in order to accelerate the transition to sustainable technologies”Mr. Musk said.

Tesla’s good stock market health has also benefited the billionaire’s bank account, who recently pledged to sell 10% of his stake in the company after polling his followers on Twitter. Mr. Musk, who has already shed more than 11 million Tesla shares, is expected to use some of the profits from the sale to pay his taxes.

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Over 66 million followers on Twitter

Big fan of Twitter, where he has 66.2 million subscribers, Mr. Musk speaks abundantly, most often to share memes and schoolboy jokes, but also to express his opinions. “His personality is as divisive as his vision”, wrote Mr. Felsenthal, noting that Mr. Musk “Seems to revel in divisions and aggressive taunts via social media. “

The leader does not hesitate to scratch his rivals, including Jeff Bezos, reacting to a tweet from the founder of Amazon and Blue Origin with an emoji representing a silver medal. To Vermont senator and former Democratic nomination contestant Bernie Sanders, who suggested taxing the wealthiest more, he recently retorted: “I forget all the time that you are still alive. “

Mr. Musk also took to Twitter to praise dogecoin, a cryptocurrency that was originally parodic, helping to send the price soaring. On bitcoin, however, he backtracked: after announcing that Tesla would accept payments with the most famous crypto-asset, he reneged on his commitment, citing the environmental impact of bitcoin mining (a technique for creating cryptocurrencies) .

Artificial intelligence and neurotechnologies are among the leader’s other favorite subjects on Twitter. Mr. Musk also heads neurotechnology start-up Neuralink and infrastructure company The Boring Company.

The magazine Time awarded the title of personality of the year since 1927 and thus wishes to highlight each year the person “Who mattered most in the news or in our lives, for better or for worse”. The last big American boss to get it was Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2010.

Also read our six-part series: Article reserved for our subscribers Elon Musk, portrait of a free electron

Le Monde with AP, AFP and Reuters