Elon Musk, the controversial Mars-focused millionaire, has taken over Twitter

Elon Musk, the controversial Mars-focused millionaire, has taken over Twitter

The business, controversies, and most personal side of the Tesla and SpaceX founders.

He’s the richest man in the world — says Forbes — and is behind many of today’s most powerful tech companies. He added the social network Twitter to his collection on Monday after approving his $44 billion takeover bid for the social network that he launched Thursday.

His name has been everywhere in recent weeks, either because his tweets about Spain sparked responses from Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and former minister Pedro Duque, or because of Johnny Depp The defamation trial between Amber and Amber heard that he was on the witness list. His name even appears in the soup, but who is Elon Musk?


From Zip2 to Tesla and SpaceX
Born in Pretoria (South Africa) in 1971, his story begins in the otherwise almighty Silicon Valley: being good at programming since childhood. In 1989, following a divorce, his mother moved to Canada with his two brothers, Kimbal and Tosca. A graduate of economics and physics, he tried to land a job at Netscape in 1995, but his resume was underwhelming. As he recalled in an interview, he showed up at the office, stood at the entrance and tried to talk to people, but he was shy: “I was afraid to talk to people, so I left.”

Soon after, he founded his first company, Zip2, one of the first Internet mapping and address services, with his brother Kimbal and a friend. Then there was X.com, an online bank that eventually merged with another company in 2000 to become PayPal. Selling it to eBay two years later, he made $180 million, of which $100 went to start the space vehicle company SpaceX; 70 people founded Tesla, electric cars, and the remaining 10 people founded SolarCity, specializing in solar energy.​

Musk showed off some Tesla models built at the Glenhead plant.
Shared via REUTERS
Musk showed off some Tesla models built at the Glenhead plant.
As he states on his website, “As Tesla’s co-founder and CEO, Elon oversees the global design, engineering, and manufacturing of all of the company’s electric vehicles, battery products, and solar products,” as SpaceX’s chief design officer Division, “oversees the development of rockets and spacecraft for missions in Earth orbit and, ultimately, other planets.” Yes, his goal goes further: sending humans to Mars.

There are two other companies in his portfolio: he is the director of Neuralink, which develops “ultra-high-bandwidth brain-computer interfaces to connect the human brain with computers,” and he founded The Boring Company, a company for fast high-altitude brain-computer interfaces. Tunneling and transporting people speed — he’s also a hyperloop proposal — .

He’s doing well in all of these projects, and you can take a quick look at Forbes’ chart on the evolution of his fortune:

Now add Twitter to all these company names. It became the majority shareholder a week ago and took over more than 100% of the company on Monday after launching a takeover bid.

“I invested in Twitter because I believe it has the potential to be a platform for freedom of expression around the world, and I believe freedom of expression is a societal requirement for a functioning democracy. However, since I made the investment, I have realized the company will not prosper or serve this societal need in its current form. Twitter needs to transform into a private company,”he said in a letter to the board.

It’s not known how much Twitter will change, but the big unknown is whether it will allow the banned Donald Trump to return for the sake of free speech. Also, in recent weeks he has been explaining his support for open source, eliminating bots and the long-awaited button to edit tweets, albeit with some limitations.

A tangled love story
On many occasions, his personal life has been in the tabloids due to his busy love life. His first wife was the Canadian author Justin Wilson. In 2002, they were the parents of their child, Nevada Alexander, who died of sudden death syndrome in 10 weeks. They later had five children: twins and triplets.

They separated in 2018, and the millionaire soon met British actress Talulah Riley, with whom he had several relationships: They married in 2010, divorced two years later, but remarried in 2013. Sonada was his next romance, with actress Amber Heard — Johnny Depp’s ex-wife.

Elon Musk and Grimes at the 2018 Met Gala.
Carlo Allegri via Reuters
Elon Musk and Grimes at the 2018 Met Gala.
In 2020, he had a son with Canadian singer Grimes, whom they named X AE A-XII Musk. They broke up, but at the end of last year they resumed their relationship. ​I learned in March that they had a daughter through surrogacy. His name is Exa Dark Sideræl.

controversial opinion
Last May, he starred in a monologue on the famous Saturday Night Live show, in which he stated that he had Asperger’s syndrome – “I know sometimes I say or post weird things, but that’s what I am. The way the brain works,”he says — mocking himself for his monotonous tone and fondness for social media buzz (pictured, when he makes fun of inclusive pronouns).

Named Person of the Year 2021 by Time magazine, Musk “creates solutions to existential crises, represents the possibilities and dangers of tech giants” and is responsible for “leading the most disruptive and daring changes in society”, and he also one aspect was cultivated: philanthropist.

His political philosophies are hard to define because he donates to both Republicans and Democrats — “You have to contribute a little to get your voice heard in Washington,” he argued — and criticized both sides. As The Independent reported, he began to describe himself as a moderate, socialist, socially liberal and financially conservative, leading to the conclusion: “He was his own technocrat: a brilliant engineer and a big nerd who thinks engineers and nerds can design a better government and economic system than what currently exists.”

The business, controversies, and most personal side of the Tesla and SpaceX founders.

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