Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and a space entrepreneur, was chosen as Time magazine’s Person of the Year on Monday. They described him as an embodiment of the technological shifts but also worrying tendencies that are transforming people’s lives.
Musk, who last year surpassed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as the world’s wealthiest person, has an impact on Earth through his Tesla electric car company and beyond with his SpaceX rockets.
“Musk’s rise coincides with broader trends of which he and his fellow technology magnates are part cause and part effect,” Time editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal wrote.
Felsenthal listed among those trends that “the continuing decline of traditional institutions in favor of individuals; government dysfunction that has delivered more power and responsibility to business and chasms of wealth and opportunity.”
Last year, the title went to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris and the Time editors have previously defined the title as going to people who “embodied what was important about the year, for better or for worse.”
Musk’s electric car company was valued at over a trillion dollars in October, and SpaceX has partnered with NASA to launch numerous missions, including a test flight to defend Earth from an asteroid.
According to Forbes’ real-time billionaires’ list, the arrogant South African-born 50-year-old has seen his wealth jump to nearly $250 billion during the pandemic.
He’s also courted controversy with his controversial Twitter feed, which can attack, joke, and provoke – including a poll in November asking Twitter users whether he should sell 10 percent of his Tesla stock shares.