Hyderabad: A one per cent rise in the share price of Amazon Inc, one of the world’s largest e-commerce company, catapulted its founder Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest person on Thursday, going past Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Mr Bezos started the year as the fourth-richest person in the world.
According to Bloomberg, “Shares of the online retailer rose 1.3 per cent to $1,065.92 at 10:10 am in New York, giving Mr Bezos a net worth of $90.9 billion, versus $90.7 billion for Mr Gates.”
Mr Gates has been at the top of the Forbes list of billionaires for 18 out of the last 23 years.
“Mr Bezos is now the seventh person to hold the title of the world’s richest person and the third American to top the global ranks besides Gates and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett,” said US financial magazine Forbes, which started coming out with billionaire index since 1987.
Mr Bezos’ rise in the billionaire index indicates investors’ confidence in the future of e-commerce space and Amazon’s share in it. The US-based e-commerce company is also a key player in the Indian market, which is the largest for Amazon after its home market.
Founded in 1994, Amazon has reshaped the world of retail in the US and in many other countries after originally launching as an internet book store. While retail stores are still struggling to respond, Amazon is also pushing ahead with its popular Amazon Web Services and its Alexa digital assistant.
Mr Bezos owns about 17 per cent of Seattle-based Amazon, which has surged 40 per cent this year through Wednesday, helping to add $24.5 billion to his net worth. He started 2017 as the world’s fourth-wealthiest person and has since surpassed Buffett and Inditex SA founder Amancio Ortega, 81, who ranks third with $82.7 billion.
Most of Mr Gates’s wealth originates from Microsoft, which has seen its stock rise to new highs lately. A Microsoft filing from last October said he held nearly 191 million shares of Microsoft — about 2.46 per cent of its stock — which are currently worth about $14.1 billion.