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Jeff Bezos briefly surpassed Bill Gates to become world’s richest person

Jeff Bezos briefly surpassed Bill Gates to become world’s richest person


It didn’t last long

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Photo by Michael Shane / The Verge

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos surpassed Bill Gates this morning to become the world’s richest person. Bloomberg reported that a surge in Amazon’s stock helped propel Bezos to the top of rich list, ahead of the company’s earnings report. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has held the top spot since 2013, and he reclaimed the spot after Amazon’s stock price dipped before the close of the bell. Amazon’s second quarter earnings report then cemented Bezos’ position in second place, as the company’s stock dropped between two and three percent in after-hours trading.

At the close of markets on Wednesday, Bill Gates held a fortune of $90 billion, and Bezos was a close second with $89 billion. The rise in Amazon stocks this morning pushed Bezos above the $90 billion mark, thanks to an increase of around $15 per share and Microsoft’s stock slipping slightly. Bezos is now the sixth man to hold the richest person title over the past 30 years, after originally entering the billionaire list around 20 years ago.

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.

Update July 27th, 5:11PM ET: This post has been updated to note that Bezos has since ceded the title back to Bill Gates after the markets closed. The company’s second-quarter earnings results cemented Bezos’ position in second place. The headline of this article has been updated to reflect this.