The thing about PR campaigns is that they can create a temporary illusion in favor of a person. But the bubble created by such PR campaigns bursts sooner or later, and the truth comes out for everyone to see. This seems to be true in Elon Musk’s case also. The billionaire-entrepreneur has created an image for himself. Favourable media portrays him as an extraordinary entrepreneur who apparently invests in next-gen technologies. Yet, many of Musk’s premier ventures are failing and a sudden plunge in his wealth may be one of the first signs of how Musk’s bubble has finally burst.
Elon Musk’s net worth falls by over $15 billion:
On Friday, Elon Musk’s net worth fell by $15.2 billion. Even as the richest US tech moguls registered a drop of several billion Dollars in collective wealth amid stumbling tech stocks and fears of inflation, Elon Musk’s net worth has fallen the most among tech billionaires. This effectively leaves Musk’s fortunes at $268.9 billion.
Since November 8, Musk has also sold his Tesla shares worth $10.9 billion. In fact, Musk’s decision to sell Tesla shares worth billions of Dollars also led to a decline of over 15 per cent in Tesla shares last month though the company still remains the most valuable automaker in the world.
What is causing the sudden decline in Musk’s fortunes?
Over the recent past, Musk has faced several setbacks. His only original venture SpaceX is, for example, in the midst of a major financial crisis. Recently, it was reported that in a leaked email to the company employees, Musk warned that SpaceX will need to achieve an impractical Starship launch rate of one flight every fourteen days to avert a financial disaster.
In the email that was sent over Thanksgiving weekend, Musk said, “Unfortunately, the Raptor production crisis is much worse than it had seemed a few weeks ago.” The SpaceX founder added, “As we have dug into the issues following the exiting of prior senior management, they have unfortunately turned out to be far more severe than was reported. There is no way to sugarcoat this.”
Musk concluded, “What it comes down to, is that we face a genuine risk of bankruptcy if we can’t achieve a Starship flight rate of at least once every two weeks next year.” Now, if a billionaire-entrepreneur makes such announcements, then it wouldn’t be a surprise if his net worth takes a hit.
SpaceX has actually run into some really deep trouble, with three of its top executives- VP of propulsion Will Heltsley, VP of mission and launch operations Lee Rosen, and senior director of mission and launch operations Ricky Lim, leaving the company in the past two weeks. The top executives have reportedly left the company because of increasing pressure to develop the next-gen rocket.
Sources told CNBC that Heltsley was removed from the Raptor engine development process due to a lack of progress. These engines are central to SpaceX’s Starship rocket and the Super Heavy boosters and are a part of its goals to reach the moon.
Also, Musk’s other initiatives including Tesla’s famous project Cybertruck aren’t in a great shape either. In July, he tweeted, “To be frank, there is always some chance that Cybertruck will flop, because it is so unlike anything else. I don’t care. I love it so much even if others don’t. Other trucks look like copies of the same thing, but Cybertruck looks like it was made by aliens from the future.” The project has also been delayed till the end of 2022.
To be frank, there is always some chance that Cybertruck will flop, because it is so unlike anything else.
I don’t care. I love it so much even if others don’t.
Other trucks look like copies of the same thing, but Cybertruck looks like it was made by aliens from the future.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 15, 2021
Elon Musk getting unmasked:
To be very honest, Musk is not really the genius he is projected to be. Let us tell you some simple facts- Musk is neither the founder of EV manufacturer Tesla nor did he find Confinity- the precursor of digital payments pioneer PayPal. Musk’s only venture is SpaceX, which has been at the centre of several accidents.
Musk however has a great PR, and this is his only big strength. Hagiography and adulatory news reports about Musk’s ‘grand’ plans is what makes him popular. Yet, the latest dip in Musk’s net worth shows that his bubble may be about to burst.