This weekend has seen Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos, become the wealthiest man in the world. Following an unexpected surge in after-hours trading on Thursday, the king of online sales has taken the title from Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
During the mid-1990s, Jeff Bezos opened an online bookstore in his garage in the US state of Seattle. The business that he named Amazon has since grown to become one of the largest companies in the world. Today, they not only sell books but almost everything possible, from home furnishings and clothing to electronic gadgets and food.
Bezos may have taken over the role of the wealthiest man in the world, but it started in 1997 when Amazon.com went public. After that, Amazon expanded rapidly, selling millions of new products, and managing to take over the majority of the e-commerce market in America. Today, the company represents over 50% of all online sales in the country and has recently bought the American food chain Whole Foods.
Amazon now has separate retail websites in 14 countries and also offers to ship to certain other countries for some of its many products.
Thanks to these business initiatives, Amazon presented an impressive result on Friday that exceeded everyone’s expectations. According to the experts’ predictions, the profit on Amazon’s shares would be just under 0.4, but to much surprise, the figure was actually 0.54.
This resulted in a stock split that pushed up the share prices a further 13 percent. According to Bloomberg’s financial magazine, this means that Jeff Bezos is now the richest man in the world.
Jeff Bezos now richer than Bill Gates
Bezos, who was holding shares in Amazon worth more than $80 billion last Friday, then saw the value rise by over $7 billion in less than 24 hours. With a fortune now worth over $90 billion on paper, Bezos is richer than Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who has been the richest man in the world since 2013.
The tension on the stock exchange has soared over the weekend in response to these developments. It remains to be seen if the Amazon shares will continue in the same direction when the stock exchange opens again on Monday.
Even though experts predict that the stock price will eventually level out, Christmas trade and the American shopping phenomenon of Black Friday is just around the corner. We anticipate that Amazon sales figures could go through the roof. This will mean that the Amazon shares are likely to rise even more in the last two months of the year.
Bill Gates has chosen not to comment on the events, but he is known as a humble man, and we assume that he is not particularly concerned. In fact, Bill Gates has announced on several occasions that he plans to donate much of his huge wealth and that he is well aware that his days as “the richest man in the world” are numbered.