By Prarthana Mitra
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos became the richest person in modern history when his net worth broke $150 billion Monday morning. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, he is now ahead of Bill Gates, Microsoft founder and the world’s second-richest man, by over $55 billion.
Gates had crossed the $100 billion briefly in 1999, which would have amounted to around $149 billion today owing to inflation. He would also have a net worth of more than $150 billion if he’d held onto assets he has since donated largely through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
He is also trailed by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, investor Warren Buffett, Space X founder Elon Musk, and Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Bezos’ stay above $150 billion may be short-lived, but his personal fortune is now within spitting distance of the $151.5 billion controlled by the Walton family (of Walmart fame), the world’s richest dynasty.
Jeff Bezos' net worth is now more than $150 billion.
— CNN (@CNN) July 17, 2018
How Bezos achieved the staggering number
While preparations for the 36-hour-long summer sales event Prime Day was on, Bezos’ worth topped the magic number thus making him the wealthiest man since at least 1982, when Forbes published its inaugural wealth ranking.
According to Bloomberg’s daily wealth tracker, shares of the company climbed to a record $1,841.95 early on Monday and closed up 0.5 percent at $1,822.49. With Amazon’s stock up more than 55 percent so far this year, the net worth of Bezos — who also founded rocket company Blue Origin — has skyrocketed by $52 billion.
— Forbes (@Forbes) July 17, 2018
Bezos founded Amazon in 1994, which grew from an online bookseller to the world’s largest retailer and massive cloud computing company. He has a slew of investments in tech companies like Twitter, Uber and Airbnb, and recently in corporate media when he purchased The Washington Post in 2013. He has also been involved in spending billions to send humans into space aboard his Blue Origin rocket ships.
When asked about Amazon’s “work/life balance” Jeff Bezos remarked that he ascribed to the phrase “work/life harmony” instead.
Rabbi Mira Rivera, "Amazon is a raging lion of corporate malfeasance. All of us across communities who are aching from the hate of Nazis unite in saying: @JeffBezos stop delivering hate!" #PrimeDayOfAction #AmazonDeliversHate pic.twitter.com/NqSjIEoDSC
— Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (@JFREJNYC) July 17, 2018
In the meantime, Amazon workers in a lot of European countries are staging protests against the sub-par working standards and benefits. Some other are demanding the company to take a stand against white supremacy and extremism by taking their racist, bigoted, hateful products off of the e-commerce platform.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius.
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