Time magazine has named CEO of Tesla and SpaceX Elon Musk as Person of the Year.
“Person of the Year is a marker of influence, and few individuals have had more influence than Musk on life on Earth, and potentially life off Earth too,” Time Editor-In-Chief Edward Felsenthal wrote. “In 2021, Musk emerged not just as the world’s richest person but also as perhaps the richest example of a massive shift in our society.”
Musk became the richest man in the world this year due to Tesla’s stock price rising; he also launched the first space mission to Earth’s orbit with a crew of tourists (and no actual astronauts).
It feels very “2021” that Musk’s online behavior has gotten him into a bit of hot water at times and has occasionally overshadowed his accomplishments. In 2018, the US Securities and Exchange Commission charged him with fraud for tweeting that he was considering taking Tesla private, per CNN. He then agreed to a deal that involved having Tesla lawyers approve tweets that would affect shareholders.
Does that include when he live tweets his bowel movements? “Just dropping some friends off at the pool,” he tweeted to his 66 million followers on November 29. They knew what he was saying: the billionaire previously reported that at least half his tweets were “made on a porcelain throne.”
Celebrity scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson responded to Musk’s tweet about tweeting from the bathroom: “That comes to more than 8,000 tweets over 12.5 years. If you do the math, it means you poop twice a day. Did you really want to tell people that?” (A non-blue-checked follower then noted, “So then Twitter is a game of thrones.”) Anyway, Elon Musk is the Person of the Year!
While Musk was sharing his thoughts with tens of millions of followers whilst on the can, scientists developed a vaccine to combat COVID-19, and four of those scientists – Katalin Kariko, Barney Graham, Drew Weissman and Kizzmekia Corbett, were named Time‘s Heroes of the Year.