Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates is no longer the richest man in the world. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, on Thursday, surpassed Gates to become the world's richest man. The proverbial rise and rise of Bezos came after a 1 per cent surge in Amazon's stock ahead of the company's earnings reports, Forbes magazine reported.
The magazine said its real-time tracking of personal fortunes showed Bezos with a net worth of $90.5 billion, ahead of the $90 billion for Gates.
Bezos owns around 17 per cent of the equity of Amazon, which has been expanding from its original mission as an online retailer to a diversified tech firm in cloud computing, online video, computing hardware and artificial intelligence.
The company also recently announced plans to acquire US grocer Whole Foods, which could help Amazon expand in that sector.
Amazon shares were up 1.7 per cent at $1,070.72 and have risen some 24 per cent over the past four months, adding some $17 billion to the net worth of the 53-year-old Bezos.
With the new development, Bezos now becomes only the sixth man in the world to hold the richest person title over the past 30 years. Gates had been ceremoniously holding the top spot since 2013.
The rise of Bezos also goes on to show just how powerful Amazon has gone on to become since its inception in 1994. The company that initially started as an internet book store has quite literally gone on to reshape the world of online retail across the globe. Amazon also enjoys a veritable repute in India where it competes with local players like Flipkart.
The year began with Bezos as the world’s fourth-wealthiest person and has since gone past Inditex SA founder Amancio Ortega, who is in third place with USD 82.7 billion, and Berkshire Hathaway Incorporated’s Warren Buffett, who is Number four, at USD 74.5 billion.
While most of Bezos’s wealth is in Amazon, he also owns the private space firm Blue Origin and the Washington Post newspaper.