Tesla CEO Elon Musk has won Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2021.
According to the magazine, “The Person of the Year” signifies somebody “who affected the news or our lives the most, for better, or worse, and described Musk as a “clown, genius, edgelord, visionary, industrialist, showman, cad.”
“For creating solutions to an existential crisis, for embodying the possibilities and the perils of the age of tech titans, for driving society’s most daring and disruptive transformations, Elon Musk is TIME’s 2021 Person of the Year,” the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Edward Felsenthal, said.
Tesla’s market value soared to more than $1 trillion (€884 bn) this year, making it more valuable than Ford Motors and General Motors combined.
Musk is also the founder and CEO of SpaceX, and leads brain-chip startup Neuralink and infrastructure firm The Boring Company.
While the announcement was met with jubilation by his myriad fans, the accolade has drawn sharp criticism from his detractors, due to his attitude to tax, opposition to unions and playing down the dangers of COVID-19.
US Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted that the Time decision highlighted the need for the tax code to be reformed “so the person of the year will actually pay taxes and stop freeloading off everyone else”.
“I held back on saying much about Time selecting Elon Musk as person of the years until I read their reasoning. In a year when the developers of the mRNA vaccines have saved millions and helped restore global economies, the selection of Musk this year may be the worst choice ever,” tweeted author Kurt Eichenwald.
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