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Elon Musk chosen over Bolsonaro as Time’s “Person of the Year”

Tuesday, December 14th 2021 - 09:15 UTC
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Musk has used social media to challenge government regulators and politicians Musk has used social media to challenge government regulators and politicians

The 2021 version of the traditional “Person of the Year” award handed out by Time magazine since 1927 has gone to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, it was announced Monday.

The publishers had announced last week the results of a survey among its readers regarding who should win the prize and it turned out to be Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro. But the public's vew is not binding and the editors retain the right to select whomever they believe better fits their criteria for person who has been most influential for better or worse throughout a specific year.

Calling Musk a “clown, genius, edgelord, visionary, industrialist, showman,” Time made its decision. Musk, who is also the founder and CEO space exploration company SpaceX, has overtaken Amazon's Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest person as Tesla stock, of which he owns 17%, keeps rising. They sold for almost $1,000 each Monday.

Time also cited Musk’s multiple endeavors, from SpaceX to the alternative energy company SolarCity in addition to Tesla. The magazine also highlighted Musk's army of loyal followers and investors on social media, where he is indeed highly influential.

Though it only became profitable in recent years, Tesla is far and away the world’s most valuable car company, at one point this year crossing the $1 trillion market capitalization threshold. Detroit heavyweights Ford and General Motors are worth less than $200 billion combined.

Musk said last month that SpaceX will attempt to launch its futuristic, bullet-shaped Starship to orbit in January. NASA has contracted with SpaceX to use Starship for delivering astronauts to the lunar surface as early as 2025. Musk said he plans to use the reusable ships to eventually land people on Mars.

Musk, a prolific tweeter, has used social media to challenge government regulators and politicians. He has admitted half his tweets were “made on a porcelain throne.” In its profile of the provocative CEO, Time went on to chronicle one of those toilet tweet storms in detail before concluding: “This is the man who aspires to save our planet and get us a new one to inhabit.”

Read also: Bolsonaro voted most influential personality of 2021

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