Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is now richer than Microsoft’s Bill Gates

27 Jul 2017

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Image: Amazon

Share price surge propels Jeff Bezos to the top of the billionaire list.

Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos is now richer than Microsoft co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates.

A surge in share trading knocked Gates from the perch he held since 2013.

Shares in Amazon rose 1.3pc to $1,065.92 in New York today (27 July), according to the Forbes World’s Billionaires list.

This gave Bezos a net worth of $90.9bn compared with Gates who has a net worth of $90.7bn.

If the Amazon share price holds in trading up until the closing bell today, then Bezos will be the world’s richest person.

The Amazon effect

Amazon has transformed from being a seller of books to a sophisticated e-commerce and cloud giant. It added billions of paper wealth in the past year as Amazon shares surged 40pc overall.

Bezos owns 81m shares of Amazon, almost 17pc of the company. He is also an investor in rocket company Blue Origin and owns The Washington Post newspaper.

Gates holds 191m shares of Microsoft, or 2.4pc of the software giant.

In the past year, Amazon has emerged as a challenger to traditional retail with its Amazon Prime platform, and Bezos’ tendency to take on traditional industries such as books or TV has been dubbed the ‘Amazon effect’.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years