It’s official now. Jeff Bezos is officially the richest person on the planet right now, courtesy the overwhelming success of Amazon. But his bold vision extends even to space and even time itself.
So, with Amazon’s share price reaching nearly up to 60 percent during the past year, the personal wealth of the company’s 54-year-old founder has doubled to more than $110 billion.
Bezos, after beating past Bill Gates this week to acquire the top spot on an annual Forbes magazine list of billionaires, had left past the Microsoft’s co-founder to the second place with a net worth of about $90 billion.
For this success, he resorted to a formula that includes taking bold bets, riding change and rebounding from setbacks.
Bezos, in an interview published in Vanity Fair magazine last year, regarded that, “You need to be nimble and robust so you need to be able to take a punch and you also need to be quick and innovative and do new things at a higher speed, that’s the best defense against the future.
You have to always be leaning into the future. If you’re leaning away from the future, the future is gonna win, every time.”
A bit of flashback:
Bezos was largely enchanted by computer science when the IT industry was in its infancy and he studied engineering at Princeton University.
Also, Jeffrey Preston Bezos went from being a boy with a love for how things work to being the man who built Amazon.com into an internet powerhouse.
Amazon then grew to dominate commerce and become a formidable contender in cloud computing and artificial intelligence with its digital assistant Alexa.
The Seattle-based company is now worth about $750 billion based on the price of its shares.
The story now:
Bezos has such a proven track record for shaking up the business sectors he enters that he has been dubbed as “disruptor-in-chief.”
Bezos called Banks “a huge personal favorite” in a tweet last month while announcing that Amazon Prime video service was working on a television series based on one of the author’s novels.
Bezos has also invested some $42 million in the building a 150-meter-tall clock designed to keep time for 10,000 years. Built inside a mountain in Texas, the clock will be powered by geothermal energy.
To this Bezos added that “Humans are now technologically advanced enough that we can create not only extraordinary wonders but also civilization-scale problems. We’re likely to need more long-term thinking”.
Other achievements include private space exploration operation Blue Origin, into which he usually invests money from selling Amazon shares.
Blue Origin has outlined plans to build a spaceship and lunar lander capable of delivering cargo to the moon, perhaps to support colonies there.
With the purchase of The Washington Post in 2013, the Internet entrepreneur added a prestigious news operation to his investments.
Other than Bezos, there are also other people on the list of the top 10 richest people in the world. The names include:
2. Bill Gates:
Microsoft’s CEO until 2000, he was also the company’s chairman and largest shareholder until 2014. Gates is still a member of the board and serves as a technology adviser for the company.
Gates and his wife, Melinda, co-chair the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is the world’s largest private charity. The foundation, launched in 1999, focuses on ending infectious diseases around the world, including HIV and malaria.
Also, quite an influential figure, this 61-year-old also releases a list of his favorite books each year and his present net worth amounts to $90 billion.
3. Warren Buffett:
Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett is an iconic figure and investment genius who bought his first stock when he was just 11 years old and filed his first taxes at age 13. Today, this 86 year old veteran owns 60 companies, leading to the net worth of $84 billion.
4. Bernard Arnault:
Bernard Arnault is responsible for many of the world’s most fashionable brands, including Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, Dom Perignon and Sephora. This French billionaire is the chairman and CEO of LVMH, which is the largest luxury goods company in the world. Arnault’s wealth grew by more than $5 billion in late April 2017 when he announced he would take full control of Christian Dior, a move that avoided bankruptcy for the brand. Now, his net worth amounts to $72 billion.
5. Mark Zuckerberg:
Mark Zuckerberg was only a sophomore at Harvard University when he created the first version of Facebook in 2004. Now, the social media powerhouse now has more than 1.2 billion users and dozens of offices located around the world. The company is now worth $400 billion, and Zuckerberg, the youngest of the world’s top billionaires at 33, is the chairman and CEO of Facebook in addition to being its co-founder. Also, he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have pledged to donate 99% of their wealth, which amounts to $71 billion through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
6. Amancio Ortega:
Amancio Ortega is a Spanish self-made billionaire best known for founding Inditex fashion group, which includes Zara clothing stores. Ortega, 81, is also the wealthiest retailer in the world and owns 59% of Inditex, which operates 7,000 stores worldwide. He stepped down as chairman of the company in 2011. His net worth amounts to $70 billion.
7. Carlos Slim Helu:
Mexican business tycoon Carlos Slim Helú is the richest person in Mexico and owns more than 200 companies in industries ranging from banking to retail to telecommunications. This 81-year-old owns America Movil, the largest mobile phone company in Latin America, as well as the Grupo Carso conglomerate company, which includes a host of retailers and restaurants, among other companies, leading to a net worth of $67.1 billion.
8. Charles and David Koch (tied):
Charles Koch, 81, is the CEO, chairman, and co-owner of Koch Industries, the second-largest private company in the United States. Both he and his brother, 77-year-old David, the company’s executive vice president, each own 42% of the conglomerate, which produces brands like Dixie Cup, Quilted Northern paper towels, and Stainmaster carpet cleaner. In fact, the two brothers inherited the Wichita, Kansas-based company from their father, leading to the net worth of $60 billion each.
9. Larry Ellison:
Larry Elison and his two co-workers found Oracle, which became the world’s most popular database. He was the highest-paid executive in the United States before he stepped down as CEO in 2014. Ellison has already given millions to charity and education and plans to give away billions, from his net worth of $58.5 billion.
10. Michael Bloomberg:
In 1981, he launched Bloomberg L.P., an information technology and media company that has now grown to be worth $45 billion with more than 100 offices worldwide. Before that, he was a partner at Salomon Brothers, a Wall Street investment bank, before he started his own company and now his net worth states of $50 billion.