NEWS

Jeff Bezos Is No Longer 'World's Richest Man' As Amazon Stock Drops

28/07/2017 08:23 SAST | Updated 28/07/2017 08:23 SAST
Jeff Bezos had leaped past Bill Gates for a while on Thursday.
Brendan McDermid / Reuters

Once upon a time, back when Amazon only sold books, Bill Gates was the world's richest person.

To state the obvious, Amazon outgrew the book game. And on Thursday morning, its founder Jeff Bezos briefly eclipsed the Microsoft co-founder as the world's richest person.

That was thanks to Amazon's soaring value, shares of which hit $1,065.92 Thursday morning, bumping Bezos' net worth up to $90.9 billion. Per Bloomberg, Gates' net worth sits at around $90.7 billion.

Bezos didn't stay on top for long, however. Amazon shares closed down Thursday evening after an earnings miss, knocking Bezos back to number two.

Had Amazon's stock closed high enough, Bezos would have officially replaced Gates atop the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a spot Gates first seized in 1995 when the then-39-year-old's fortune hit $12.9 billion.

Gates' (first) reign as "world's richest person" came to an end in 2007, when he systematically began giving tens of billions of dollars to charity.

Bezos' wealth has soared $24.5 billion so far this year, thanks primarily to his 17 percent ownership of Amazon, which is now valued at more than twice as much as Walmart.

Behind Bezos and Gates, Spanish businessman Amancio Ortega currently ranks as the third richest person in the world, with a net worth of $82.7 billion, followed by Warren Buffett ($74.5 billion) and Mark Zuckerberg ($70.5 billion).

What's it like being super rich? According to Gates, it's overrated.

"I can understand wanting to have millions of dollars. There's a certain freedom, meaningful freedom, that comes with that," he told students at the University of Washington in 2011. "But once you get much beyond that, I have to tell you, it's the same hamburger."

This story has been updated to reflect Amazon's lower stock price and its impact on Bezos' wealth.