Bezos was only briefly world’s richest man but Amazon is in its Prime

28 Jul 20179 Shares

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Image: Steve Jurvetson/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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Bezos’ reign as world’s richest person was short-lived. But he is too busy to care.

For about half a day, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos was the world’s richest man. He may be yet again but, if it is any consolation, his company is in rude financial health.

The company reported Q2 revenues of $38bn, up 25pc year on year, with a profit of $197m.

‘It’s energising to invent on behalf of customers, and we continue to see many high-quality opportunities to invest’
– JEFF BEZOS

Because the performance didn’t meet analyst expectations, Amazon stock fell 2pc to $1,023.55 a share.

Yesterday afternoon (27 July), Bezos surpassed Microsoft founder Bill Gates in terms of net worth. However, the number one ranking was all too brief and, according to the Forbes World’s Billionaires list, Bezos is back in second position.

At the time of writing, Gates has a net worth of $89.8bn (down $242m) while Bezos trails closely behind at $88.7bn (down $543m).

Somehow it is hard to imagine Bezos being perturbed by the rankings as his Amazon money machine purrs along nicely.

A busy Bezos

In its third year, Amazon’s annual Prime Day sold more than 40m items.

Amazon Video received 16 nominations, including for original series Transparent, The Man in the High Castle, Mozart in the Jungle and Catastrophe. A slate of new original series are also set to launch in the third quarter.

As well as this, the company continues to push the boundaries of tech with its Alexa AI assistant on Echo devices. During the quarter, Amazon launched calling and messaging services via Alexa.

“Our teams remain heads down and focused on customers,” Bezos said.

“In the last few months, we launched Echo Show (our newest Echo device with a video screen), introduced calling and messaging via Alexa on all Echo devices, debuted Inside Edge on Prime Video (the first of 18 Indian original series), introduced Amazon Channels in both the UK and Germany, launched four new Fire tablets, expanded Amazon Fresh to Germany, launched Prime Now in Singapore, launched our 25th aeroplane with Prime Air, hired more than 30,000 new employees, opened three new Amazon Books stores, launched more than 400 significant AWS features and services, migrated more than 7,000 databases using AWS Database Migration Service, and held our third annual Prime Day — signing up more Prime members than ever before.

“It’s energising to invent on behalf of customers, and we continue to see many high-quality opportunities to invest.”

Clearly, Bezos is too busy to care about briefly being the world’s richest person.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Image: Steve Jurvetson/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com