Asked if he had any regrets about purchasing the social media company, the world’s second richest person said the “pain level has been extremely high” and called his time in charge “quite a rollercoaster”, but added that things are going “reasonably well”.
Mr Musk’s Twitter reign has been controversial to say the least. Since taking over in October he has fired the vast majority of its staff, cutting the workforce from just under 8,000 to about 1,500. The site has been plagued with technical issues, and he has made unpopular changes such as the planned removal of “legacy” blue checkmarks for verified accounts, instead only giving them to people who pay for Twitter Blue.
However, Mr Musk told the BBC the company is now “roughly breaking even”, as most of its advertisers have returned after an initial exodus.
Here’s what his Twitter takeover has done to his own net worth and the company’s value, explained.
What is Elon Musk’s net worth?
According to Forbes‘s real-time billionaires list, he is currently worth £189.1bn, making him the world’s second-richest person behind Bernard Arnault, chairman of the the LVMH empire of 75 fashion and cosmetics brands, including Louis Vuitton, Sephora and Tiffany & Co.
His wealth is down from a 2022 high of $219bn, having dipped after purchasing Twitter for $44bn.
Mr Musk also owns several other companies including electric car maker Tesla, rocket producer SpaceX and tunneling startup Boring Company.
He owns about 23 per cent of Tesla between stock and options, but has pledged more than half his stock as collateral for loans. He contributed much of its funding in its early days and has been CEO since 2008.
His rocket company SpaceX is valued at $127bn following a round of funding in May 2022 and the securing of a commercial contract with Nasa.
The Boring Company, which claims it aims to defeat traffic by using underground tunnels, raised $675m in April 2022 at a $5.7bn valuation.
Mr Musk was the CEO of Paypal during its early years. His rise up the list of the world’s richest people has been meteoric. He was the 35th richest person in the world at the start of 2020, before shooting past the likes of Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, reaching the top of the tree for the first time in January 2021.
He grew up in South Africa, before moving to Canada at the of age 17. He transferred to the University of Pennsylvania as a student and has since settled in the US.
How much is Twitter worth now?
Twitter is now worth less than half of what Mr Musk paid for it six months ago, according to calculations based on a leaked memo he sent to staff.
The memo suggested the company is now worth less than $20bn. Investment firm Fidelity has written down the value of its stake by 56 per cent.
However, Mr Musk said he saw “a clear, but difficult, path to a >$250bn valuation” by adopting a strategy that could see staff sell shares back to the company – similar to methods he adopted at both Tesla and SpaceX.
In his BBC interview he said owning Twitter had been “really quite a stressful situation over the last several months”.
He added that he sometimes sleeps in the office, on a sofa in a library “that nobody goes to”.