Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is now the richest person on the planet after a bounce in company stock value floated his net worth to a massive $93.8 billion by the end of business on Friday.
Bezos ended the day $5.1 billion richer than former No. 1 Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, 61, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Gates, with a fortune of $88.7 billion as of Friday, had previously held the king-of-hill spot since 2013 — except for a few hours.
Bezos, 53, who also owns The Washington Post, briefly moved ahead of Gates in the rankings July 27 when his Amazon stock took off. The stock dipped during the day and Gates was back on top.
Amazon stock rocketed 13 percent on Friday, the biggest jump in 2.5 years, fattening Bezos’ portfolio by an extra $10.4 billion in a matter of hours. The booming stock performance followed a strong third-quarter earnings report that exceeded analyst expectations for the company, Bloomberg noted. Earlier this year, Amazon acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its largest acquisition to date.
Gates first hit the big time in 1995 when he was 39 and his $12.9 billion fortune put him on top of the billionaire ratings. He dropped down in 2007 and didn’t make it to the top again until 2017, largely because he gave away tens of billions of dollars to various causes. Bezos has said he wants to give more money to charity.
Warren Buffett was third in the latest ratings, with $88 billion in assets, followed by Amancio Ortega, Spain’s Zara clothing tycoon, with a $77.2 billion fortune, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg with $75.4 billion.