Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has now surpassed Bill Gates as the world’s richest person. Bloomberg reports that a surge in Amazon’s stock has helped propel Bezos to the top of rich list, ahead of the company’s earnings reports later today. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has held the top spot since 2013, and if Amazon’s stock price holds after the close of the bell then Bezos will remain top.
When markets opened on Thursday, Bezos had a net worth of $90.6 billion, putting him $500 million ahead of Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Amazon stock opened up 1.6% on Thursday, adding $1.4 billion to Bezos’ net worth. That was enough to put him ahead of Gates, who was last surpassed on Forbes’ real-time rankings for just two days nearly a year ago by Spanish retail giant Amancio Ortega.
While Gates and Buffett both appeared on Forbes’ first ranking of America’s 400 Richest people in 1982, Bezos is a newer addition to Forbes’ wealth rankings. He first appeared on the Forbes 400 in 1998, a year after Amazon went public, with a $1.6 billion fortune. Bezos ranked third richest in the world on Forbes 2017 list of the World’s Billionaires, published in March, with a fortune of $72.8 billion.
Bezos’ rise demonstrates just how formidable Amazon has grown to become. 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. Investors are expecting revenue to jump by up to 22 percent year-over-year when the company reveals its earnings later today, showing there’s continued confidence in Amazon’s popular businesses.