New York (USA Today, July 27,2017): Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has surpassed Bill Gates to become the world’s richest man Thursday.
Assuming stock gains, Bezos has executed a meteoric rise up the billionaires list a testament to the growing might and wealth of the Seattle company he runs.
Microsoft co-founder Gates, 61, has held the top place in the billionaire list since May of 2013. Just a year ago Bezos was number five on the list.
But on Thursday their places look likely to change.
After the market opened Thursday, Amazon shares rose more than 1% driving Bezos’ net worth to $90.9 billion, compared to Gates’ $90.7 billion. Gates was worth $90.8 billion while Bezos was at $89.9 million, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.
Amazon (AMZN) shares surged Thursday morning, in anticipation of the company’s earning statement expected after the bell. Early on in the day they hit $1,074.68.
Should those gains hold throughout the day, Gates could cede his long-held place to Bezos, 53.
Unlike many of the world’s richest people, Bezos has not signed the Giving Pledge, a campaign launched in 2010 by Warren Buffett and Gates to encourage the world’s wealthiest people to contribute the majority of their money to philanthropic efforts.
More than 150 have done so, including many in the tech elite including Larry Ellison, Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, and Elon Musk.