Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Briefly Loses Title of World's Richest Person to Microsoft's Bill Gates

It was a week of whiplash for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who lost and then quickly regained his status as the world's richest man. On Thursday, Amazon stock prices plummeted for a while, taking Bezos net worth down below that of Microsoft founder Bill Gates. However, the company soon rebounded, and with it, Bezos' massive fortune.

Bezos was the first person in history whose personal wealth crested over $100 bill last year, making him the world's first centi-billionaire. His success has continued unimpeded ever since, though it did hit a small bump in the road on Thursday, Oct. 25.

After-hours trading on Thursday was not kind to Amazon, according to a report by Forbes. The company's stock price dipped a full 7 percent, terrifying stockholders everywhere. since much of Bezos' personal wealth consists of stock in his own company, the captain went down with the ship -- at least, relative to where he was.

Bezos' fall left him as the second-richest man in the world for a few hours, and not even by much. His net worth dropped down to $103.9 billion. This put Gates back in the number one spot, which he occupied for 24 years before Bezos overtook him.

On Friday, Amazon rebounded quickly. The stock price fluctuated hard, but ended up back to nearly where it was when trading officially closed on Thursday. This put Bezo's personal wealth back up to $109.9 billion -- enough to regain his dominance over Gates. The Microsoft founder is reportedly holding steady at a net worth of $105.8 billion, which is just over $4 billion behind Bezos.

These figures fluctuate often, and depend on a variety of factors that are hard to track, or account for all at once. Forbes' Angel Au-Yeung speculated that Bezos may lose his spot again in the near future, temporarily or otherwise, with his company's ambitious plans. Amazon is investing heavily in infrastructure, and is intent on promising one-day shipping as a standard option for all Amazon Prime customers.

Amazon's second-quarter earnings report showed that it had spent over $800 million on same-day shipping efforts. The third quarter report did not mention the initiative, but net income was down 26 percent for the company, perhaps contributing to recent stock price fluctuation. Since Bezos personally owns a 12% stake in his company, his net worth is heavily reliant on its performance. Gates, by contrast, has his assetts in many different places, and holds a much smaller stake in Microsoft.


Bezos also personally owns The Washington Post, as well as the private aerospace company Blue Origin, which is developing commercial space travel options. Last year, his personal wealth peaked at about $160 billion.