Just over two decades ago, Jeff Bezos started selling books online from his garage. Today, the Amazon CEO surpassed Bill Gates as the richest person on Earth, for a few hours at least.
Bezos’s net worth topped $90 billion on Thursday morning, allowing the Amazon founder and CEO to dethrone Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, as the richest man in the world, according to Forbes and Bloomberg. However, an afternoon dip in Amazon’s stock price caused Bezos to slip back behind Gates, who has been No. 1 since 2013 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Bezos finished the day worth $88.8 billion, just behind the $89.8 billion for Gates.
Jeff’s world’s-richest-man milestone was made possible because of Amazon’s surging stock price. The e-commerce giant’s market value surpassed $500 billion this week for the first time ever.
The vast majority of the Bezos fortune is tied up in Amazon stock, of which the CEO owns nearly 17%. That stake alone is worth $83 billion, meaning Bezos could just as quickly lose his new title as the world’s richest man should Amazon’s stock decline, or Microsoft’s value rise.
In recent years, Bezos’s fortune has whizzed past that of legendary investor Warren Buffett, Spanish retail magnate Amancio Ortega and Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim. Bezos added more than $24 billion in net worth since January 2017, according to Bloomberg.