The founder and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, Elon Musk, has been named Time’s 2021 Person of the Year for being a “clown, genius, edgelord, visionary, industrialist, showman, and cad.”
With a net worth of $250 billion, Musk became the world’s richest person this year, the magazine pointed out in an article setting out the reasons for its choice.
Elon Musk (@elonmusk) is TIME’s 2021 Person of the Year #TIMEPOYhttps://t.co/8Y5BhIldNspic.twitter.com/B6h6rndjIh
The 50-year-old’s rocket company, SpaceX, has beaten Boeing and all its other rivals to “own America’s spacefaring future,” it said, while Tesla, which is now valued at “a cool $1 trillion,” controls two-thirds of the growing electric-vehicle market.
The entrepreneur, whom Time described as “a madcap hybrid of Thomas Edison, P.T. Barnum, Andrew Carnegie, and Watchmen’s Doctor Manhattan,” has been a key figure on the stock markets, it said, making them soar or swoon with “a flick of his finger.” He is also at the forefront of other cutting-edge ventures, including cryptocurrency, robotics, and solar energy.
The judges were also impressed with Musk’s sense of humor, of which there is ample evidence online, reminding readers that the Person of the Year “likes to live-tweet his poops.”
Just dropping some friends off at the pool
Social media users were quick to respond to Time’s recognition of Musk via its coveted award. Many said they were happy with the magazine’s choice, with one saying they were satisfied there would finally be “a real revolutionary person on that cover.” Last year, the title went to US President Joe Biden.
Others disagreed with the choice, many suggesting pop star Britney Spears – who recently regained her freedom after a decade of living under her father’s court-appointed conservatorship – was more deserving of the honor.
Britney deserved pic.twitter.com/9VRv7KiFRo
Last week, Time announced the results of its Person of the Year reader poll, with the win unexpectedly going to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
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Some 24% of the nine million readers who took part in the online vote backed the controversial politician, despite Bolsonaro being investigated for vaccine disinformation and blamed for botching Brazil’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.