Amazon head honcho Jeff Bezos has taken over as the richest man in the world, with a fortune of over $90 billion.
According to Forbes and Bloomberg, Bezos [pictured above] had a net worth of over $89 billion as of the close of markets Wednesday, while Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates had a net worth of just over $90 billion.
Amazon’s share price jumped this morning $16.60 a share, or 1.6%, to $1,069.40, while Microsoft increased only nine cents to $74.14. If the stocks hold up today, Bezos — who owns around 80 million shares of Amazon — will add more than $800 million to his fortune. That would put him past Gates, assuming the valuations of their non-stock holdings haven’t changed.
And even if Bezos doesn’t end the day as the richest man, market watchers say he will likely take the crown from Gates more permanently in the coming days and weeks.
Bezos has been a billionaire for nearly 20 years, first making the Forbes list in 1998 with a net worth of $1.6 billion U.S. after Amazon’s IPO. He chugged along for the following decade, reaching $4.4 billion in 2007, gradually rising to $18.4 billion by 2012, ranking him 26th on the list.
But over the past two years, as Amazon’s stock has soared, so has Bezos’ fortune. He owns 79.9 million shares, or just less than 17% of the company. His net worth has grown by $70 billion U.S. over the past five years, surging by $45 billion in the last two years alone — possibly the largest wealth-creation surge in history.