Amazon's Jeff Bezos briefly overtakes Gates to become world’s richest person

Jul 28, 2017 10:23 IST

 Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos becomes world’s richest person briefly Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon became the world’s richest man on 27 July 2017, dethroning Microsoft founder Bill Gates from the position briefly.

With a jump in the share price of the US tech giant, Bezos's net worth topped $90.5 billion on the morning of 27 July, ahead of Bill Gates’ estimated worth of $90 billion, according to Forbes and Bloomberg.

However, a dip in Amazon's stock price in the afternoon made him slip back to $88.8 billion, behind Gates whose net worth is estimated to be $89.8 billion.
Gates has been the world’s richest person since 2013 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Key Highlights

• The vast majority of the Bezos’ fortune is tied up in Amazon stock, of which he owns nearly 17%.

• Amazon, which started off initially as an online retailer, has now entered into various other fields including cloud computing, online video, computer hardware and artificial intelligence.

• Bezos’ stake alone in the diversified tech firm is worth $83 billion.

• Such a high value of the stake also means that his net worth value could fall as quickly as it rises, should Amazon's stock decline or Microsoft's value rise.

• Overall, in the past four months, Amazon shares have risen by almost 24 percent, adding some $17 billion to the net worth of the 53-year-old Bezos.

• According to Forbes, Gates has been the richest person in the magazine's annual rankings in March for the past four years and for 18 of the last 22 years.

• Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim is the only person to have overtaken Gates for the period of 4 years from 2010 to 2013.

In recent years, Bezos's fortune has speedily overtaken the fortunes of other billionaires including Carlos Slim, legendary investor Warren Buffett and Spanish retail magnate Amancio Ortega. Besides Amazon, Bezos also owns the private space firm Blue Origin and the Washington Post newspaper.

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According to Forbes, Gates could have been considerably wealthier, having given away more than $30 billion to philanthropic causes over the years.

Bezos has also given around $100 million for charitable causes and recently he asked Twitter users for ideas for charitable donations that could have an impact on the world.

Among the current lot of tech leaders, the billionaire who is fast gaining ground is Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who has an estimated worth of some $71.3 billion according to the real-time Forbes estimate.

Background

• Bezos had founded Amazon in the mid-1990s originally as an online bookseller.

• Over the years, the e-commerce website expanded its offering to include hardware, cloud services, music and online streaming of shows.

• The company raked in $136 billion in sales in 2016 alone.

• In June 2017, Bezos surprised the business world with Amazon’s $13.7 billion takeover of American supermarket chain, Whole Foods (WFM).

• The surprise deal instantly made Amazon a major bricks-and-mortar player.

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