Jeff Bezos is set to lose his crown as world’s richest person
Jeff Bezos retained the title of world’s richest person Friday as Amazon.com Inc.’s stock recovered from a sharp slide. Shares of the biggest online retailer fell 1.1% to close at $1,761.33, rebounding from a drop of as much as 9.1% in extended trading a day earlier, after the company reported its first profit decline in two years. Friday’s modest dip trimmed Bezos’s net worth to $109.9 billion, or $2.36 billion more than Bill Gates’s, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Bezos, who took the top spot from the Microsoft Corp. co-founder in October 2017, briefly swapped places with Gates on an intraday basis but returned to the top spot as Amazon rallied along with the broader market. The Bloomberg index is updated each trading day after U.S. markets close.
Microsoft, the world’s most valuable company, has surged 39% this year, boosting the value of Gates’s 1% stake and bringing his fortune to $107.6 billion. The rest of his wealth is derived from share sales and investments made over the years by his family office, Cascade. Gates, 63, remains an aggressive stock investor, with more than 60% of his portfolio in equities, he said last month in a Bloomberg Television interview.
Bezos, 55, would be far richer if he and MacKenzie Bezos hadn’t divorced. The pair announced their split in January, with MacKenzie, 49, receiving a quarter of their Amazon holdings in July. Her net worth dipped to $35.4 billion on Friday.
Gates, on the other hand, may have never relinquished the top spot were it not for his philanthropy. He has donated more than $35 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation since 1994.