Bezos, whose wealth has risen by $20bn in five months, could take Bill Gates’s crown within days if Amazon shares keep soaring
Jeff Bezos founded Amazon in 1994, the early days of the internet, selling books from his garage in Seattle. And it is now the fourth most valuable company in the world behind Microsoft, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, and Apple.
Just a few dollars more on the Amazon share price and the world will have a new richest man. Jeff Bezos, the company’s founder, is about to overtake Bill Gates and become the wealthiest person on the planet. Bezos, 53, has been having a very good year. His net worth has risen by almost $20bn (£16bn) in the past five months to $85.2bn, putting him just behind Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, who is valued at $89.3bn, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Bezos’ fortune has soared thanks to a sharp rise in Amazon’s share price, which has gone up by one-third so far in 2017, valuing the company at $475bn and Bezos’s stake of roughly 17% at more than $80bn. If Amazon shares continue to rise at the same pace, Bezos will become the richest person in the world within days.
Although Bezos has not signed the Giving Pledge, which was founded by Gates and Warren Buffett and commits signatories to contributing the majority of their wealth to charity, he and his family have made a series of significant contributions to philanthropic causes.
Latest Top 5 World’s richest people
1. Bill Gates – $89.3bn – Microsoft
2. Jeff Bezos – $85.2bn – Amazon
3. Amancio Ortega – $84.5bn – Inditex
4. Warren Buffett – $74.7bn – Berkshire Hathaway
5. Mark Zuckerberg – $64.8bn – Facebook