Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, has become the first person to ever cross $200 billion in net worth. This happened after Amazon’s stock edged up 2% on Wednesday.
According to Forbes, the edging increased Bezos’ net worth by $4.9 billion, making him the first person to ever amass a $200 billion fortune in the nearly four decades that Forbes has been tracking the net worths of the world’s richest individuals.
This happened in spite of the fact that Bezos recently donated 7,548 of his Amazon shares –worth about $26 million– to an undisclosed nonprofit organization, as contained in a regulatory filing on Wednesday.
The 56-year-old world’s richest man was worth $205 billion as at the close of trading on Wednesday.
Why this matters
This development now puts Bezos almost $90 billion ahead of the world’s second-richest person, Bill Gates, who is currently worth $116.1 billion.
Gates was the first person in the world to ever cross the $100 billion in 1999 when Microsoft reached its then-peak.
Even after adjusting the figures for inflation, Forbes still estimates Bezos net worth to be over $200 billion, almost 80% up from the $115 billion he was worth on January 1, 2020.
This increase in net worth is said to be connected to the change in consumer habits resulting from the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown in major cities across the world. Since then, Amazon stock has gone up almost 80%.
Note that Bezos owns roughly 11% stake in Amazon which makes up more than 90% of his net worth, while his stakes in the Washington Post, aerospace company Blue Origin, and other private investments make up the rest.
Zuckerberg becomes a centibillionaire
In a similar development, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, at the end of trading on Tuesday, became a centibillionaire with $103.1 billion in net worth.
Sequel to Facebook’s stock gains, His fortune went up by $6 billion again on Wednesday putting his worth at $109.1 billion.
Chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy, Bernard Arnault, has also claimed the position of the third-richest person, with net worth of $115 billion, recovering from the slip earlier in the year at the peak of the pandemic.
In July 2019, Jeff Bezos parted away with 25% of his Amazon stake (now worth $63 billion), in what was tagged the “most expensive divorce settlement in history”. His ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, who was the beneficiary of this settlement, is currently the world’s 14th-richest person and second-richest woman, behind L’Oréal heiress Françoise Bettencourt Meyers; even after giving away $1.7 billion in charitable gifts earlier this year.