The world’s wealthiest billionaire Jeff Bezos is even richer as the Amazon founder and CEO’s wealth topped $200 billion for the first time – the biggest fortune seen in history.
This is the first time that a net worth has amassed above $200 billion in the almost four decades that Forbes has been tracking the fortunes of the world’s wealthiest.
With a net worth that has quickly grown to $204.6 billion, the 56-year-old tech entrepreneur is currently almost $90 billion richer than Microsoft’s Bill Gates.
Mr Bezos’ wealth surpasses Mr Gates who comes in at the world’s second richest, worth approximately $116 billion.
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Even when Mr Gates’ net worth topped $100 billion in Microsoft’s peak in 1999 at the height of the dotcom bubble, Forbes believes that Mr Bezos’ fortune is still the largest ever accumulated, even when adjusting for inflation.
Amazon’s stock is up nearly 80 per cent since the beginning of the year, fuelled by changing conditions due to the coronavirus pandemic. Mr Bezos’ net worth has almost doubled since the start of the year, when it was roughly $115 billion in January, as online shipping surged during the coronavirus lockdown.
He is one of the world’s five richest people who hasn’t lost money this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Esquire.
The e-commerce giant’s sales topped $US75 billion ($A116 billion) in the first quarter, driven by spiking demand during the pandemic that has kept people at home and relying on at-home delivery services, according to Marketwatch.
Mr Bezos’ 11 per cent stake in Amazon makes up more than 90 per cent of his fortune, but he also owns The Washington Post, aerospace company Blue Origin and other private investments.
His personal fortune eclipses major global companies including McDonald’s, Nike and oil giant Exxon.
He’d be even richer if it wasn’t for his divorce from ex-wife MacKenzie Scott last year, which was the most expensive divorce settlement in history. Part of the settlement included a 25 per cent stake in Amazon ownership, a chunk of stock now worth $US63 billion.
Ms Scott is currently the world’s 14th-richest person and second-richest woman, behind L’Oreal heiress Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, even after she donated $1.7 billion to charity this year.
Mr Bezos is on track to becoming the world’s first trillionaire as he bankrolls during the height of the tech boom. Research suggests he could achieve that feat by 2026, according to a Comparisun study.
If his net worth does reach $1 trillion ($A1.55 trillion), he’d be worth more than the individual GDPs of 179 countries with a combined population of 3.4 billion – 43.7 per cent of all humans alive, the outlet reported.
Facebook’s co-founder Mark Zuckerberg also joins the tech centibillionaire bubble, with a net worth of $103.1 billion. At his current growth rate, the social media tsar will join the exclusive trillionaire club in 2036 at the age of 51.