Elon Musk’s bank account took a slight hit on Thursday as his net worth dropped by $12.6 billion, the largest decline in Musk’s wealth so far this year, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index.

That decline occurs after a fairly turbulent 24 hours for SpaceX, Tesla, and Twitter, three of Musk’s biggest companies.

On Thursday morning, Tesla released poor first quarter numbers, revealing a drop in gross margins of over 20%. The EV manufacturer recently reduced the prices of several of its models aggressively, which improved sales despite the weak EV market but eventually hurt the business’s total profit margins. By the time the markets closed on Thursday, Tesla’s share price had dropped by 9.8% to $162.99. Musk’s (now) $163.9 billion net worth is primarily comprised of his 13 percent ownership in Tesla.

Four minutes into its first test flight, SpaceX’s integrated Starship spacecraft encountered a “rapid unscheduled disassembly” over the Gulf of Mexico, which is just another way of saying it exploded. Before Starship began to spin erratically and subsequently caught fire just before stage separation, it had successfully cleared the launchpad. Musk, who has a 42 percent interest in SpaceX, intends to launch the Starship again in “a few months.”

Dublin, Wednesday 31th October 2013: Pictured at the The Web Summit 2013, RDS. Photo by Dan Taylor/Heisenberg Media

There is also Twitter. On Thursday, Musk followed through on his pledge to remove blue checkmarks from older accounts. The verification badges first appeared and then vanished intermittently between page reloads with the platform’s usual technical skill. The CEO of Twitter has switched heritage verification, which he once referred to as a “lords & peasants system,” for one that requires users to subscribe to Twitter Blue for $8 per month.

except if you’re a rich star. The Twitter CEO revealed that he was paying to verify LeBron James, Stephen King, and William Shatner after The Verge claimed that Musk had offered James a free subscription.

Advertisers and media organizations are currently keeping a close eye on the situation because of concern that the removal of historical verified checkmarks may result in an increase in disinformation. Eli Lilly’s stock price dropped by nearly 5% in November of last year after a fake account posing as the pharmaceutical company tweeted that “insulin is free now.” Issues have already arisen from accounts purchasing Twitter Blue to impersonate famous people, brands, and government agencies. Considering how many businesses have lost their verified status, such impersonations will probably be lot simpler going forward.

Despite his most recent decline in wealth, Musk is still the second-richest person in the world, behind French businessman Bernard Arnault. In fact, the $26.8 billion boost in the billionaire’s wealth this year as a result of Tesla’s previous 33 percent share price recovery in January doesn’t even come close to matching this most recent loss.


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