Elon Musk is on the cover of Time magazine as ‘Person of the Year 2021’. That title relates to the influence that a public figure, or even an entity or community, has exercised over the past year. Elon Musk, the boss of Tesla and SpaceX, has left his mark on the past 12 months with his space company. The billionaire businessman is ubiquitous in the media with his projects, ideas and successes, as well as his erratic nature and media announcements.
Time describes him as an “influencer”. He is also an entrepreneur from the beginning with X.Com (now PayPal) and SpaceX and Tesla. The automaker has hoarded more than $1 trillion in the stock market. In addition to the commercial success of his cars, Musk has also managed to direct Wall Street to fund his company. And he continues to do so. He is also a man of communication, especially on Twitter. He is not the first Time Magazine ‘Person of the Year’ from the automotive industry. Formerly known as “Man of the Year”, the title was awarded to General Motors boss Harlow Curtice in 1955.
Time has not been spared criticism of this choice. The businessman has been criticized for his position on the redistribution of wealth by taxing the richest, for his animosity towards unions and therefore for his approach to personnel policy. He has also been in the news for his views on minimizing the risks of COVID and the pandemic. Opponents of this choice for Musk question whether he should be seen as a man with a “daring vision of the future”.
Not just angels
Let’s not forget that this title is not proof of virtue or philanthropy. Far from. In the gallery of personalities featured on the cover of Time for this nomination, while Elon Musk stands alongside John Paul II, Mikhail Gorbachev, Lech Walesa, the Apollo 8 astronauts, Martin Luther King, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Greta Thunberg, but also next to Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Ayatollah Khomeini and Donald Trump…