Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is inching ever closer to becoming the richest person in the world.
Bezos’ net worth increased $1 billion to $89.3 billion on Wednesday, putting him less than $900 million away from surpassing Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates to become the richest person in the world. His net worth has increased $2.2 billion this week due to a 2% increase in Amazon’s stock price; it has increased $16.5 billion since Forbes’ 2017 Billionaires List was published in March.
At the end of March, Bezos briefly became the second richest person in the world for the first time. He has been the second richest person continuously since June, when Amazon announced plans acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in cash. At that time, Gates was nearly $5 billion richer than Bezos.
Now, the gap between the two Seattle-area residents has narrowed to just $800 million. If Amazon stock rises more than 1% on Thursday or in after-hours trading, Bezos could unseat Gates, who has been the world’s richest person on Forbes annual Billionaires List for 18 of the past 23 years.
Bezos’ rise to the top started in a garage in Seattle, where he began selling books online after leaving a hedge fund job. He first joined the ranks of the 400 richest Americans in 1998, a year after Amazon.com went public, with a $1.6 billion fortune. Today, Bezos’ net worth easily rises or falls by that amount with small moves in Amazon’s stock because he owns nearly 17% of the tech giant, which has a $503 billion market capitalization. – Written by ,