Jeff Bezos didn’t have to wait long to reclaim his throne as the richest person in the world: A few hours after losing the title to French luxury fashion magnate Bernard Arnault, he’s now back at No. 1 after Amazon’s shares ticked up when markets opened in New York. As of 1:30 pm ET, Bezos leads with a fortune of $188.4 billion, ahead of Arnault’s $187.3 billion.
The two men entered the weekend on level terms, worth $186 billion each, after shares in Arnault’s luxury goods conglomerate LVMH rallied in the second half of last week. LVMH stock performed even better on Monday, closing nearly 1% higher and boosting Arnault’s fortune by $1.7 billion—enough for him to briefly eclipse Bezos and become the world’s richest person for a few hours. Then Amazon shares ticked up more than 1% as of 1:30 pm ET on Monday, making Bezos $2.4 billion richer today.
Arnault has briefly ranked as the world’s richest person several times already: Just before the markets closed on Friday in the U.S., Arnault was about $100 million richer than Bezos, before ending the day with the same net worth. At around 10:30 am ET on December 16, 2019, Arnault pushed past Bezos to claim No. 1 for the first time, until Amazon shares closed higher and Arnault fell back to number two.
While Bezos is now trading the top spot with Arnault, he was previously locked into a tight competition with Tesla CEO Elon Musk, currently the third richest person in the world with a net worth of $150.8 billion. In early January, Musk overtook Bezos to become the richest on three separate occasions—on January 8, 12 and 14—before the Amazon founder definitively clawed his way back on January 15.
All three men have seen spectacular growth in their net worths throughout the pandemic, collectively gaining more than $300 billion. Since Forbes calculated net worths for its 2020 World’s Billionaires list at the worst of the market crash in March 2020, Bezos has gotten more than $75 billion richer, compared to gains of nearly $127 billion for Musk and $111 billion for Arnault. Bezos’ net worth peaked at a staggering $200 billion on two occasions: first in August 2020 and again late last month in April 2021.
By Giacomo Tognini, Forbes Staff