Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has his sights set on Bill Gates on his journey to becoming the richest person in the world. The 53-year-old reportedly has a net worth of $84.6 billion, which trails Gates by only $5 billion. With Amazon’s recent surge of acquisitions, it may not be long before Bezos’ holds the world’s most coveted title.
The Albuquerque, New Mexico native added $1.8 billion to his personal wealth last week after his company’s purchase of Whole Foods. Amazon’s stock rose so high after the addition of the food leader, it made an immediate impact on Bezos’ worth. It is just the latest investment in a long line of recent purchases for the technology giant.
The deal cost Amazon $13.7 billion to take control of Whole Foods. Bezos hopes to revolutionize the entire grocery industry with the company’s move into the new market. Amazon seeks to incorporate its unrivaled manufacturing services into the industry. Pretty soon, Whole Foods could be coming straight to your door thanks to Bezos’ vision.
The technology entrepreneur has now joined the likes of Gates, Warren Buffett, and Amancio Ortega among the world’s richest people. Since the formation of Amazon in 1994, it has become the largest sales company on the world wide web. Bezos has funded many successful startup companies as well through Bezos Expeditions.
Amazon has long been criticized for its lack of philanthropic work. Unlike Gates, Bezos has not shown a lot of interest in charitable foundations. After public outcry to get more involved, Bezos took to social media to ask users which causes Amazon should support. Although he meant well, his gesture was met mainly with criticism as users believe Bezos should have already followed Gates’ lead.
Gates stepped away from his management role with Microsoft in 2000, but still owns a portion of the company. Since then, he has focused his energy on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which aims to enhance healthcare and eradicate poverty throughout the world. The 61-year-old has also vowed to give away half of his earnings during his lifetime. Others have made the same arrangement, but Bezos has yet to sign that pledge.
Meanwhile at Amazon, Bezos and company continue their development of groundbreaking services. The recent acquisition of Whole Foods only helps to diversify Amazon’s vast portfolio. At the same time, the investment continues to deepen the founder’s pockets.