Elon Musk wants Jeff Bezos to know he’s No 1. Tesla Inc.’s co-founder responded to a tweet from Bezos early on Monday with a silver medal emoji after the gap between the world’s two richest people increased last week through the surging valuation of Musk’s rocket company SpaceX. His net worth is now $222 billion, while Amazon-.com Inc.’s Bezos is at $190.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The jab escalates the public spat between the two billionaires, who are both trying to revolutionize the space industry.
Bezos’s Blue Origin is challenging a U.S. government contract with SpaceX to develop technology to land people on the moon again, while Musk has previously taken to Twitter to call Amazon’s founder a “copy cat” for his e-commerce firm’s space-focused ventures. In a recent filing with U.S. regulators, Amazon’s satellite subsidiary also accused Musk and his companies of flouting regulations with a general attitude that “rules are for other people.”
In his tweet late Sunday, Bezos posted an image of a 1999 article from Barron’s that criticized Amazon and described it as one of many stories that predicted his company’s demise.
Musk, 50, added about $9 billion to his fortune Friday after an agreement with investors valued SpaceX in excess of $100 billion, more than quadruple the size of Blue Origin, according to Bloomberg’s wealth index. Musk still derives around three-quarters of his wealth from Tesla, which he co-founded in 2003 after making a fortune from the sale of e-commerce site PayPal to eBay Inc. for $1.5 billion.