Bill Gates Poised to Surpass Jeff Bezos as Richest Person in the World

Jeff Bezos
AFP Photo/Alex Wong

Jeff Bezos is close to losing the title of richest person in the world to Bill Gates as Amazon shares continue to fall Friday after the company reported disappointing third-quarter results this week.

The Amazon chief had an estimated total net worth of $111 billion as of Thursday’s close of trading, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which updates its list of the wealthiest people in the world on a daily basis.

If Amazon shares continue to fall Friday, Bezos could lose his No. 1 spot to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, whose net worth is pegged at $107 billion. Bloomberg estimated that Gates overtook Bezos in early trading Friday, as Amazon shares were down as much as 4 percent, though the stock has recovered some of its losses.

Forbes estimated that Bezos actually fell to the No. 2 spot late Thursday, when Amazon shares dipped 7 percent in after-hours trading.

But his decline wasn’t completely the result of Amazon’s share price, according to Forbes. Bezos recently transferred a quarter of his Amazon stake to his ex-wife, MacKenzie, as part of their highly publicized divorce.

Amazon disappointed Wall Street on Thursday when it reported its first decline in profits in about two years, with net income dropping 26 percent. The news sent Amazon shares plummeting 9 percent in after-hours trading.

In addition to running Amazon, Bezos’ empire also includes the Washington Post.

Other high-ranking U.S. billionaires on Bloomberg’s list include Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett at No. 4 and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg at No. 5.

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