Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has officially dethroned Bill Gates as the richest man in the world. After his company’s recent purchase of Whole Foods, Bezos was closing in on the illustrious title. And last week, the inevitable happened as his net worth sky-rocketed once again.
Thanks to an increase in Amazon’s shares on Thursday, Bezos’ personal bank account totaled $90.4 billion. That figure officially topples Bill Gates’ reported worth of $90 billion. To say Bezos’ climb up the ranks of richest people has been meteoric would be an understatement. In just seven months, the Amazon Founder has hopped past Armancio Ortega, Warren Buffett, and now Gates.
Amazon In 2017
His rise to the top of the food chain relates directly to his company’s performance this year. So far in 2017, Amazon has owned competing retailers as the company’s shares jumped 40%. Amazon was traded at an impressive $1,603 last week. The strong performance was enough to add an additional $24.5 billion to Bezos’ already deep pockets. Even better news for Bezos is the expectation that Amazon will outperform its early year success in the next quarter.
Earlier this year it was reported that the 53-year-old Bezos owned 81 million shares of his company, which translates to 17% overall. He has said in the past that he generally sells $1 billion worth of Amazon’s stock each year. In addition to his Amazon earnings, Bezos owns The Washington Post and Blue Origin.
The only criticism that seems to be thrown Bezos’ way is his lack of charitable work. Gates and his wife Melinda have been outspoken about their non-profit work, while Bezos has been hesitant to donate his earnings. For more than twenty years, the Gates have provided more than $31 billion for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The public has wondered if the Albuquerque native will follow in the Microsoft founder’s footsteps.
Located in Seattle, Washington, Bezos founded the online commerce company in 1994. Amazon originally hit the market solely as an online bookstore. Based on overall sales today, Amazon is the biggest internet retailer on earth. In fact in 2015, the company overtook Walmart as the most valuable retailer in general in the United States. Whole Foods is the latest high-profile purchase for Bezos’ conglomerate. During just the first quarter of this year, Amazon’s revenue was recorded at more than $35 billion.