After enjoying the title of world’s richest person for four consecutive years, Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates has been dethroned from the position by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos this year. Bezos raced past Gates after a rise in the share price of Amazon was registered ahead of the list’s latest results due on Thursday.
According to real-time billionaires index compiled by Forbes revealed that the increase in Amazon’s share price helped in increasing Bezos’s fortune to $91bn, while Gates with 1 bn less was left behind on the second position with a total of $90bn in wealth. Forbes calculated their wealth on the basis of the share prices of their respective companies. Statistically speaking, based on Bezos’s current value, his stake is two times that of carmarker Ford.
While Bezos ended up dethroning Gates at the end, the picture was quite different during the start of the year. Bezos was way behind Gates on the list at fourth position, with investor Warren Buffett and Amancio Ortega, who founded Inditex, the company behind retailer Zara increasing the distance between Bezos and Gates on the list. But, it seems, Amazon’s good run helped not only decrease the distance between the Amazon founder and Microsoft founder on the list but also helped Bezos in making history by knocking Gates of the numero uno position.
53-years-old Bezos has acquired a reputation in the business world for being low profile person. Not a fan of unwanted camera op, the New Mexico born has spent some of the wealth he has earned over years to buy the famous the famous Washington Post and invest capital in exploring the field of space travel through Blue Origin, a company founded by him seventeen years ago.
Bezos started Amazon 23 years ago in 1994 when he expanded his garage book store into a full blown online product store. The company, which is credited for playing a crucial role in starting the online shopping trend, now makes up for about
He founded Amazon in 1994 when he sold books from his garage in Seattle before expanding into a huge range of other products and capturing the global rush to shop online. Amazon now accounts for about 43 per cent of everything that is sold online in the US. Recently, it was revealed that a whopping 64 million people have signed up for Amazon’s Prime service, which gives access to free, one day deliveries and video streaming.
Amazon has had a good year shares wise. The company shares have climbed up the charts like never before and have made the company worth more than $500bn. Amazon’s increasing value has had a direct impact on Bezos’s wealth as he owns 17 per cent of the company. In addition to Amazon, Bezos’s other investments include Twitter, Google, Airbnb and Uber.
According to Forbes, which started with its billionaires index in the year 1987, Bezos would not have been on the top today if Gates had not given away so much of his wealth in charity. It also revealed that Gates has been the richest person in the world for more than half the 30 years it had been in the business of tracking wealth of billionaires.
Considering there’s just a $1bn gap between Bezos and Gates, it remains to be seen if Bezos is able to cement his position on the list as Gates had achieved for the last four years. It wouldn’t be that hard a task considering the pace at which Amazon is expanding into spheres other than retail. It is now into selling computing services, groceries and making television shows etc.
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