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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos briefly dethrones Bill Gates as world's richest person [Updated]

Image: Business Insider

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has officially become the world's richest person, overtaking a spot previously held by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. As Bloomberg reports, the shift comes as Amazon saw an increase of 1.3 percent in its share price this morning ahead of the company's earnings report scheduled for later in the day.

The stock price increase had the effect of pushing Bezos' net worth to around $90.9 billion, which is just a hair above Gates' $90.7 billion. Gates had held the top spot since 2013, but, as CNET reports, the former Microsoft CEO has actually held the title during 18 of the last 23 years. In that time, Gates has briefly traded spots with Warren Buffett and Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim.

If Amazon's stock price holds through the end of trading, Bezos will keep the top spot. And that's likely to be the case, as the company is expected to deliver good news in the form of a 22 percent jump in year-over-year earnings later today. Still, we wouldn't count Gates out; he's been knocked out of the top spot before only to retake it again.

Updated July 27, 2017: Well, it seems that $200 million buffer wasn't meant to last long. As TechCrunch reports, Bezos is back to being number 2 on the list of world's richest people after Amazon's latest earnings report caused a reduction in its stock price. Bill Gates sits at the top of the list once more.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to

  • Just the slightest hair difference between them in terms of riches....would change my life forever!!! Lol. If it's that slight please give it to me.
  • Umm .. No
  • $200m difference is small change for them.
  • Wow!!! 200 million... Just imagine to have this amount in your accounts.
  • 1% of that would be life changing for most people.
  • Or even 0,001%
  • dadasda asdasd asd a d as d a sdasd asd
  • And gates is actively donating money all the time and investing in malaria treatments. Imagine if he was simply pilling up money.
  • You are absolutely correct my good sir, he has personally donated TONS of money already. TONS. I don't see the Amazon CEO actively doing so aswell. I'd like to see him do just as much donating and STILL keep top spot. ;)
  • It would be interesting to know just how much he's donated over the years.  I just looked and as of 2013 he had already donated 28 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.  I imagine it's closer to 50 billion now.
  • Wow 50 billion. What ide give for 50k haha. just think he made that all himself to.
  • Exactly!
  • Wow! I just lime that guy.
  • Amazon hate in 3.....2....1.....
  • Well its been two minutes and counting since your post. Still waiting on that hate.
  • Well guess you were wrong!
  • Hmm?
  • Was.. Was that rhetorical?
  • Jeff Bezos is a guy who just wants to fill his pockets. No were near Bill Gates in status if you ask me !
  • What about Tim Cook?
  • He is poor compared to these guys.
  • i don't care how rich he is. its what he does with his riches that matters.
  • Yep, agreed!
  • Not even relevant how rich anyone is, for that matter. It really comes down to impact per dollar for me. That's why Bill Gates will always be a better person than Bezos; he has invested millions of dollars in malaria treatments, founded his own philanthropy focused on mitigating global health issues, among other things.
  • Keep in mind that this is not the first time Bill Gates has been dethroned. It has happened before (last I remember was the Mexican Telcom mogul). But he always ends up reclaiming his throne for various reasons (market fluctuations etc...).
  • It literally says all that in the article.
  • Don't be silly nobody here actually reads the articles before commenting anymore 😂
  • Where did I say it doesn't say that in the article? I'm not allowed to reiterate what the article says? Some of you guys just exist to judge people. We're allowed to comment to discuss things. And I wanted to discuss that part of the article to remind people that Jeff Bezos stay at the top probably wouldn't last too long. Guess what? It happened before the day was over.
  • I thought Donald Duck...i mean trump said he was the richest person in the world.   
  • Poor guy.. You believe that orange potato..
  • No.  I think the orange shitstain is pure sewage as a human being.   
  • I bet he doesn't think much of you either.
  • No.. He did lie and said he had a wealth of $10 bn though.
  • You mean the one that wasn't paying people and his contractors properly among other things? Or used his function to get advantages for his companies?
  • Can't even call it fangirl downvotes this time....more like idiot trumpanzee votes....he's an asshat...congrats for supporting the human equivalant of excrement.....
  • Pretty sure he never claimed to be the richest. So call the downvotes what you want, but it seems like you're spreading misinformation about someone that wasn't even part of the article. There are plenty of reasons to hate trump and legit lies he told. No reason to be a child and make stuff up. For the record, none of your downvotes are from me since they literally mean nothing.
  • Bruh, God-Emperor Trump IS the Richest. He's also the most giving. I mean why else wouldn't he release his taxes? Such a humble guy, he is,..doesn't want to put all the other billionaires to shame :P
  • Wow, I see the golden baboon is starting to get some love on here for some reason. Don't worry, just like where I live, I will be with the minority and give you an upvote for your correct assertions.
  • What correct assertions? When did trump say he was the richest man in the world? There's plenty of reasons to hate the guy without making any up.
  • Correct assertions that he is a shitbag and acts like he's the GOAT of everything. I don't care about the richest part, he might as well have said it, he has said just about every other thing to that effect about being the greatest, or the biggest, or the best. It was a joke man, it wasn't meant to be serious. It was almost like a line from a Baldwin SNL skit
  • Nah, he's poor compared to these guys and has had far less impact on the world.
  • Only because Bill Gates stepped away. Years ago. Bill hasn't been taking the same money out of the business that he was. So it was obvious someone was going to overtake him.
  • True
  • He was never really taking much money from the business when he was invloved. He probably received a few million in salary every year. That is immaterial when you are taking about billions. His wealth came from owning microsoft stock, just as Bezos wealth came from Amazon stock. A fluctuation on the share price can send Bezos net worth up or down hundreds of millions. Gates isn't effected as much because he has been selling Microsoft stock and is a lot more diversified. Ballmer might actually be the biggest shareholder now.    It actually kind of funny that gates net worth keeps going up even as he gives away billions to his foundation. When you reach that kind of wealth, it is very difficult to give the money away. 
  • The difference being that one donates billions to charity and to help others and the other one in Bezos. I love Amazon as a service but Bezos is a tw*t.
  • Agreed. Microsoft was kind of evil in the 80's and 90's... But Mr. Gates has given back so much to humanity.
  • It wasn't evil. They did what all businesses do. Apple, Google and the rest of the large tech companies do the same thing. The only reason that it was illegal for Microsoft is because they were a monopoly and were governed by a different set of rules than a regular business. 
  • exactly.  apple.  google.  microsoft.  NONE are evil.  they are just companies.   making money...whether you want to fanboy geek out and be a **** is one thing....that has nothing to do with the companies.  
  • People tend to call Microsoft evil.
  • I think when people say a certain Corporation is evil it's just a moral judgement. ALL Corporations are greedy. And greed is a sin in Western culture. So it's natural to associate greed with evil.
  • Meaning Western culture is EVIL right?
  • Bill is a great Charity donator, no idea what Bezos does. the difference is just a ''C hair'' big tho.
  • If bill will keep hiring those fools to manage how Microsoft works and plans, they're gonna cost him a lot of money..
  • The amount of time it would take MS to get into trouble he'll probably be long gone. They are pretty well diversified. He's also giving away most of what's left of his fortune when he goes anyway so sure he has enough to last even if MS closed tomorrow
  • The "fools" that are currently running Microsoft has raised the stock price from $20 per share to more than $70... So... You're kind of entirely and totally off there.
  • This is true
  • Why is this news?
  • Because it hasn't happened often?
  • Now let's see if he does like Mr. Gates... Pledges to give half of his money to charity and philanthropic work.
  • My point exactly! 
  • Better yet, Gates has pledged to give 95% away.
  • Oh, I thought it was 50. Even better :)
  • Yeah, I think The Giving Pledge as it's called asks people to commit to giving away at least half but he went further to 95%.
  • Still be a billionaire after that. And with interest it would still grow more on its own for whoever holds his fortune.
  • I hope he follows the others that have held this spot and focuses on philanthropy.
  • That took a while to happen isn't it?
  • Bill Gates donates a lot of his money to charities like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I wonder where he networth would be if he wasn't so charitable.
  • According to Wikipedia it was over $100 billion back in 1999 so yeah, it would be a lot higher if it weren't for all of the charitable giving.
  • Big Deal!
  • People here are equating Gates' worth with the MSFT stock. Gates is one of the few tech founders that doesn't have the majority of his wealth in his own company. Gates cashed out very early and invested it independently which is why Gates' wealth doesn't sway anywhere near as much as other people on the list. Also IMO he's also much richer simply because it's nigh on impossible for Bezos or others to sell their entire stock holdings at the current asking price of the relevant stock, they'd plummet as soon as the founder started selling it off. Source:
  • With the way Microsofts stock is going, Gates wil be back on top in no time!
  • back to 2nd place, there goes the party hat :D
  • Jeff Bezos owns the fake news Washington Post. It's a disgrace. Nasty man!
  • Yeah believing the Liar in Chief over the Washington Post sounds like a
    great live choice >. < #resist
  • Well since the Washington Post doesn't let people know that the CIA has a $600, 000,000 contract with them when reading their articles you could say they're misleading.
  • what gets bigger when you take more out of it? Ans: A Hole Ans2: Bill Gates Bank Account :)
  • Nobody mentions that Amazon has been destroying retail stores in local economies. Amazon has been selling things at a loss and is getting tax breaks to do it. I guess they also use the US postal service which undermines other delivery services like UPS and DHL by getting discounts from the government. Yeah it's great they sell things cheap and deliver to your door but there will come a time when only Amazon is left. Then how will they act?