Time magazine chooses Elon Musk as person of the year
The founder of Tesla and space entrepreneur Elon Musk was chosen as the person of the year 2021 by Time magazine on Monday, AFP reports.
The magazine cited his embodiment of the technological shifts but also troubling trends reshaping people's lives.
Musk – who overtook Amazon founder Jeff Bezos this year to become the world's wealthiest person – wields impact on Earth with his Tesla electric car company and beyond our planet with his SpaceX rockets.
"Musk's rise coincides with broader trends of which he and his fellow technology magnates are part cause and part effect," Time Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal wrote.
Among those trends, Felsenthal listed "the continuing decline of traditional institutions in favor of individuals; government dysfunction that has delivered more power and responsibility to business and chasms of wealth and opportunity."
Time editors have previously defined the title – which last year went to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris – as going to people who "embodied what was important about the year, for better or for worse."
In October, Musk's electric car company's valuation soared above $1 trillion, and SpaceX has teamed up with U.S. space agency NASA to launch various missions including a test run of protecting Earth from an asteroid.
The brash South African-born 50-year-old has seen his wealth soar during the pandemic to over $250 billion, according to Forbes' real-time billionaires' list.
He has also courted controversy with his provocative Twitter feed that can attack, joke and provoke – including a poll in November asking Twitter whether he should sell a 10% share of his Tesla stock.