Microsoft CEO Bill Gates is Back on Top of the World as He Retakes This Coveted Title From Fellow Billionaire Jeff Bezos
Until 2017, businessman and tech innovator Bill Gates held the spot as Forbes’ richest person in the world. In fact, he held this top position for all but four of the years from 1995 to 2017. Well, that is until he was dethroned by the meteoric rise of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who surpassed the Microsoft CEO’s wealth in October 2017.
Just two years after, Gates just retook his position at the list’s number one once again as a bit of trouble comes Amazon’s way.
A Slight Shakeup
According to sources, Gates’s reinstatement as the richest person in the world comes after a 7% decline in Bezos’ company’s stock. This decrease is attributed to the recent release of Amazon’s third-quarter earnings report, which clearly didn’t impress some investors. In the same report, it was revealed that although the online retail giant saw an increase in sales, it didn’t generate as much profit as was previously predicted.
This drop resulted in the billionaire’s estimated net worth falling down to $102.8 billion. In comparison, Gates has a current net worth of $107 billion just a couple billion higher but still enough for him to shake up the list once again.
But this isn’t the only blow Bezos’ net worth sustained this year. In his recent divorce from ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos last January, the billionaire’s assets diminished as she was granted a quarter of their Amazon stock as part of the settlement. This portion of their formerly joint wealth reportedly amounted to $35.6 billion.
Sliding Down the List
In the end, though, it seems that maintaining his number one position doesn’t matter too much for Gates. He actually slid down the list further just last summer because of his charity donations. This commitment to putting his massive fortune to good use is most evident in his creation of the Giving Pledge, an organization that encourages the world’s richest to give away half of their wealth to good causes throughout their lifetimes.
There’s also the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which he runs with his wife. Launched back in 2000, the Gates-backed institution is said to be the ‘largest private foundation in the world’. It reportedly has a holding of $50.7 billion worth of assets and focuses on a variety of causes from healthcare to the reduction of extreme poverty.
While Bezos has his own charitable ventures, he has faced criticism time and again for the fact that he hasn’t signed the Giving Pledge yet as many other billionaires have done. In fact, his ex-wife MacKenzie actually signed the Pledge shortly after separating from the CEO. This act was deemed pretty telling by some people, who speculate that the couple disagreed about the decision when they were still together.
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