Jeff Bezos vs Elon Musk : The Showdown

On Feb 16 2021, Jeff Bezos reclaimed the world’s richest spot as Tesla shares slipped by 2.4 percent. Earlier in Jan, Musk had skyrocketed to the top as Tesla shares rose by a staggering 743 percent throughout 2020. A feat that the share has achieved even after a stock-split at 5-for-1.

However, Musk’s stint as the world’s richest was a short-lived one, and Bezos is once again the richest person on the planet as on Feb 25, with $185.1 Billion, opening a $10.6 billion gap from SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s $174.5 billion fortune.


The history of the Rivalry- from leadership style to differences in Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos’ Stock Portfolio


Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk have both had humble beginnings. They did not belong to wealthy families and both started their first businesses in their late 20s. Elon Musk was born in Canada and was inquisitive even as a kid. His love for learning was evident early on as he taught himself to code and pocketed $500 from a game he coded “Blaster” at a meagre age of 12. 


Although Musk and Bezos are not competing on any frontiers on Earth, space seems to be the battleground for these two titans. Bezos started Blue Origin in 2000, while Elon founded SpaceX in 2002.


Bezos and Musk have been at loggerheads since the latter tried to obtain exclusive rights to NASA’s launch pad in 2013. Blue Origin (along with SpaceX rival United Launch Alliance) lodged a formal plea protesting the move. Musk had called the move by Bezos ‘phony blocking tactic’.

In 2014, the two companies then went into a patent battle. Blue Origin had been granted a patent for drone ships, used for landing rocket boosters. SpaceX petitioned to invalidate the patent citing the fact that the technology was ‘old hat’ and that it had been around for years. The then judge ruled in favor of SpaceX and Bezos had to pull-back most of the claims in its patent.

In recent years, both have been much more public with their feud, taking to twitter to voice their aversion to each other. 


Bezos vs Musk


As far as personalities go, Musk and Bezos differ quite a bit actually.


Musk doesn’t care if you like him. He is unapologetic and faces rules and regulations head o – as he did when the SEC tried to restrict his social media activities. Some would say he is even childish and impulsive. Something that has cost him in the past and continues to do so even today. Musk had earlier in 2018 been charged for fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for disclosure of confidential company information when he tweeted about the price at which he would be taking Tesla private. 

This had caused Tesla stock to go up by 7% and cause ‘disruption’ in the market as per statement issued by the SEC. In response, Musk had to be removed as Chairman, and Tesla was fined $40 Million for inability to provide a procedure and control guidelines on his Twitter usage.


Tesla workers have often complained about Elon Musk’s ambitious and far-reaching claims. It has often led to orders being unfulfilled due to unrealistic claims. Workers have often cited that fact. Factory injuries seems to be another issue that Tesla is plagued by. The Center for Investigative Reporting has released a statement saying that the number of injuries reported by Tesla were inaccurate and there is an ongoing investigation regarding the same. 

You must go through this detailed account of each phase of Elon Musk’s life which tries to understand what makes Elon tick and whether he is a jerk or simply an overly-ambitious eccentric businessman. 


Bezos on the other hand, comes off as more calm and composed as also reflected in Jeff Bezos stock portfolio. A Princeton graduate, Bezos has built a career in providing cloud space, retail space and streaming platform, among a variety of other services through the Amazon brand. However, Bezos isn’t without fault. ‘The Guardian’ in 2020 reported worker concerns of safety among the covid pandemic and were quoted saying – ‘Jeff Bezos values profits over safety’. 


The two men also share a very different set of investment choices- Elon Musk is more of a futuristic investor putting his money into technologies that resemble the imagination of sci-fi movies. On the other hand, Jeff Bezos’ stock portfolio is full of investments that reflect the utility of the world, in the present and future. 


Differences in Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos’ stock portfolio


As stated above, Elon Musk is more of a sci-fi visionary. The man uses his money to build futuristic technology like implanting chips in human brains and colonizing mars. On the other hand, Jeff Bezos’ stock portfolio reflects utility and poise that is changing lives worldwide. He puts his money into media, real estate, tourism and charitable funds


The two men are also fighting for spots to dominate mars and are standing poles apart and competing to dominate mars. 


What makes a good CEO?


A Chief Executive Officer or CEO is the person charged with the overall operations and overview of an organisation – whether public, private or non-profit. They are charged with governance and expected to represent their organisation’s values. A CEO is required to be calm, foresighted and untethered in the face of change.


Our two business moguls in question no doubt possess the foresight required to run near-Trillion dollar businesses and have the money and connections to support their endeavors. They both are ambitious people that are obsessed with the goal of becoming the most coveted businessman this world has known. However, a calm demeanor and calculated actions is something Elon Musk seems to sometimes struggle with. 


Here I am speaking of course about Musk’s Tweets that have often landed him in trouble with the SEC. However, such instances don’t stop there. Musk has often been unhinged with his tweets causing many other stock market uproars with respect to Signal , Bitcoin and more recently Dogecoin. Elon Musk’s Tesla reportedly had invested $1.5 billion in Bitcoin earlier. Musk later tweeted that Bitcoin was priced “too high”.

There were larger consequences of Musk’s tweet. The 8.6 percent fall in Tesla’s share price wiped out a staggering $15.2 billion from Musk’s net worth, meaning he was no longer the world’s richest man, Bloomberg reported


The introduction of the Tesla CyberTruck at Tesla Design Studio on 21 November 2019, also seemed like a less-than-planned reveal of the much awaited 4-wheel monster. He has often caused resentment among workers by promising impossible production targets publicly, leading to unfulfilled orders and unreasonable working hours.


Undoubtedly Elon Musk is one of the greatest inventors and creators this world will ever see. He surpasses Jeff Bezos by quite a bit in terms of creativity and ingenuity. However, Jeff Bezos has been around for a long time and his recent step-down from the post of CEO does not signal any intent of slowing down. The to-be CEO of Amazon Inc., Andy Jassy is the founder of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and shows the growth that cloud-computing foresees. Jeff Bezos will now be the Executive Chairman of Amazon.


Who will win the battle of the Giants?


Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are two of the greatest businessmen our generation has seen. They also have space-sized egos that we often see unfold on social media. Whatever may be the cause, childhood insecurities or simply the result of such a large net-worth, both are unrelenting in their ambitions.

It is hard to pin-point who will end up on top because their businesses are at their peaks, part of industries with future viability and both having companies that are going to raise more funds in the future. 


The ‘World’s richest person’ is a crown that will probably be exchanged among them so much that we stop to care even. But irrespective of who comes out on top – science and technology will certainly have a lot to gain out of this rivalry. And as is true with every rivalry – Federer and Nadal, LA Lakers and Boston Celtics, Coca-Cola and Pepsi – they make eachother better.


The disparity between the personality and traits of the two men can be reflected in almost everything they do. This includes their business choices, leadership style and even the disparities in Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos stock portfolio. With so many differences, conflicts are bound to happen.

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