How Many Companies Does Elon Musk Own?

As of October 27, Forbes ranked Elon Musk as the world's richest person, with an estimated net worth of $221.5 billion. According to Britannica, the South African entrepreneur is most famous for being the CEO of electric car company Tesla motors and SpaceX, a space exploration developer. Alongside business, Musk has drawn considerable attention to his highly controversial political remarks. Musk's own daughter, who is a trans woman, legally severed ties from him due to his espoused far-right views (via Mercury News). Musk had also posted a transphobic tweet on Twitter back in July of 2020, saying "pronouns suck." 

Recently, Musk has re-entered the media spotlight due to his acquisition of social media platform Twitter. According to BBC, Musk just purchased Twitter for a staggering $44 billion, marking the conclusion to months of executive and corporate quarreling and controversy. The move comes at a time when civil rights activists and free speech proponents worry about increased censorship and far-right proliferation on the platform. With that being said, Twitter is just one of various companies Musk now owns.

Inside Musk's corporate empire

Musk has a long history of founding or acquiring companies. According to Insider, Musk's companies include Twitter, Neuralink, Tesla, The Boring Company, the Musk Foundation, and OpenAI. He also reportedly has ties with a few other companies as well, such as Wyoming Steel, which is a limited liability company. The Boring Company started off as mostly a joke tweet after Musk vented frustrations on Twitter about Los Angeles traffic. "Traffic is driving me nuts. I am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging" (via Investopedia). And so, Musk did start digging, founding a company devoted specifically to creating transport tunnels for automobiles. 

Elon's company SpaceX came into news media attention after it reportedly gave Ukraine thousands of satellite dishes for internet access (via CNBC). SpaceX primarily deals with manufacturing spacecraft and satellite technology for aerospace use. One of its more notable projects includes the Falcon 9 reusable rocket, which can reflight and land itself after being launched, as SpaceX's website says. This will supposedly reduce the cost of spaceflight exponentially, as many traditional rockets cannot be reused. 

What Elon's companies Tesla and Neuralink actually do

But beyond his other companies, Elon is perhaps most well-known for his flagship company: Tesla Motors. As Britannica explains, Tesla, Inc. is one of the more influential electric automobile manufacturers, helping to put electric cars back in the public eye as an attractive alternative to gasoline. Contrary to what some may believe, however, Elon didn't actually create the company initially; Martin Eberhard (CEO) and Marc Tarpenning (CFO) did in 2003. Though, due to a 2009 lawsuit, Elon Musk is now considered a co-founder. Elon became CEO of the company after the 2008 financial crisis, as Eberhard was kicked out of the firm. 

Neuralink, a neurotechnology company co-founded by Elon Musk, is one of his wilder business pursuits. According to CNBC, the company aims to make futuristic technology like computer chips for the brain. They hope to eventually get a working prototype that will boost brain capacities, making humans transition into the artificial intelligence age with more ease. The brain computer interface technology behind these goals was not invented by the company, however, and has been around for a few decades at least. Still, the company has lofty ambitions.