Nigeria News: The new name at the top of the world wealth league is Jeff Bezos who is the founder of Amazon, he has overtaken Microsoft’s Bill Gates to claim the title of world’s richest person.
Jeff Bezos overtook Gates, who has been the richest man on the planet since 2013, after a rise in the share price of Amazon ahead of its latest results that is due on Thursday Nigeria News gathered.
According to a real-time billionaires index compiled by Forbes, the rise pushed the value of Bezos’s fortune to $91bn (£69bn) – compared with Gates’ wealth of $90bn. Their riches are calculated on the share prices of their respective companies and at the current values, Bezos’s stake is twice as big as the carmaker Ford.
Jeff Bezos, born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1964 keeps a relatively low profile, but has used some of the wealth he has amassed to buy the Washington Post and invest in space travel through Blue Origin, a company he founded in 2000.
He founded Amazon in 1994 when he sold books from his garage in Seattle before expanding into a huge range of other products and capturing the global rush to online shopping. Amazon now accounts for 43% of everything sold online in the US and 64m people have signed up for its Prime service of which gives access to free deliveries and video streaming.
Amazon shares have soared this year and making the company worth more than $500bn and boosting Jeff Bezos s’s wealth as he owns 17% of the company. Nigeria News also gathered that he also has a number of other investments, including in Google, Uber, Twitter and Airbnb, worth more than $5bn.
At the start of 2017, Jeff Bezos was ranked fourth richest in the world, behind Gates, the investor Warren Buffett and Amancio Ortega, who founded Inditex, the company behind retailer Zara.
The share price rally comes despite accusations by Donald Trump, during the US election campaign that Amazon was “getting away with murder, tax-wise”. He said Jeff Bezos was using the Washington Post for “political influence”.
In January, Jeff Bezos pledged the full legal resources of his company to fight the travel ban instituted by the new US president against seven Muslim-majority nations.
Amazon floated on the forex market in 1997. Every year Jeff Bezos reprints the letter he sent to shareholders that year, insisting it is only Day 1 for the company and pledging to focus on the long-term and be the market leader.
He has not joined the club of billionaires who pledge to hand over the majority of fortunes to charity started by Gates and his wife along with Buffett, but recently tweeted to ask for philanthropic ideas to help in the short term, which he said was in contrast to his long-term approach to running the business.
“I want much of my philanthropic activity to be helping people in the here and now, short term at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact.” #nigeria-news