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Is Elon Musk the New Larry Ellison?

Wednesday - 7/10/2013, 2:45pm  ET

In a move that certainly didn't seem likely just a few months ago, Tesla Motors will be added to the Nasdaq 100 to replace Oracle next week.

No, the enterprise software giant didn't fall out of favor. Oracle is migrating to the New York Stock Exchange, and that's naturally a one-way ticket out of a widely followed index that tracks the 100 largest non-financial securities on the exchange based on market cap.

Tesla earned the vacant spot after seeing its shares nearly triple over the past three months. A surprising profit for the electric-car manufacturer and some daring sales-boosting initiatives have turned the company into a darling in a revitalized automaker market. 

It will still be seen as Oracle CEO Larry Ellison passing the baton to Tesla CEO Elon Musk. These are two of the more colorful corporate chieftains, even if they go about different ways in wearing their charismatic ways.

Ellison has never shied away from calling out competitors in conference calls. Musk hasn't taunted the competition, but he hasn't been afraid to personally call out an unimpressed newspaper reviewer. Musk also isn't afraid to drop hints on Twitter about upcoming Tesla announcements, something that seemed controversial at the time but which the SEC went on to approve.  

This has been a redemptive year for Musk.

SolarCity  -- the installer of the solar energy panels that went public late last year to little fanfare -- has seen its stock nearly quadruple so far in 2013. Musk is SolarCity's largest investor and its chairman. When you combine SolarCity's tear as renewable energy begins to regain some of its allure with investors and Tesla's stock recent tear, Musk has seen his wealth explode this year -- at least on paper.

SolarCity isn't likely to join Tesla int he Nasdaq 100 anytime soon. Despite catapulting in price this year, we're still talking about a $3 billion company that is profitless. There are also questions about its moat, since the pricing model at SolarCity can be easily aped by rival installers. Tesla also has its challenges, but it's hard to ignore its juicy $14 billion market cap.

It will be interesting to see if Tesla's market cap inches even higher as indexers following the Nasdaq 100 buy in ahead of the July 15 switch, but either way it seems as if Musk has done nothing but shift into higher gears this year.

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This article was originally published as Is Elon Musk the New Larry Ellison?on Fool.com

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