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Full Version: Elon Musk, the world's richest man, is about to get a whole lot richer
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New York (CNN Business)For a CEO who receives no salary, Elon Musk's 2020 payday reached sky-high levels.

He received four grants to buy 8.4 million Tesla shares in 2020. After paying the exercise price, those blocks of stock options were each worth $6.2 billion at Wednesday's closing price. The combined $24.8 billion value of those options alone is more than Musk was worth a year ago when Forbes calculated its billionaire's list, when he was ranked as the world's 31st richest person.

2021 and 2022 could be nearly as lucrative for him.

The company's annual financial filing this week disclosed that Musk will probably receive three additional options grants this year, each as large and as lucrative as those he received in 2020.

At current values, those three options tranches would be worth $18.6 billion.

Analysts are now forecasting that Tesla's 2022 financial results will likewise reach heights that would bring Musk three additional blocks of options. Tesla could hit one of those profit targets in 2021, which would mean Musk could match the four tranches of options he received last year.

Few investors are complaining about Musk's pay.

The stock's 743% rise in 2020 made it the stock market's biggest winner, as well as one of the most valuable companies in the world. That has quieted most of the criticism he might have faced.

"The cachet of Tesla is Musk," said Daniel Ives, tech analyst for Wedbush Securities. "The reason investors have not batted an eyelash is that due to Musk's strategic direction, Tesla is on top of the EV [electric vehicles] mountain going to the golden age of EVs. And he's put Tesla on the cusp of being a trillion-dollar market cap company."

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