Jeff Bezos is leaving the rest of the world behind when it comes to wealth accumulation.
The world’s richest man reached a record US$211-billion (R3-trillion) net worth on Tuesday after Amazon.com shares rose 4.7% after the Pentagon announced it was cancelling a cloud computing contract with rival Microsoft. The rally raised Bezos’s fortune by $8.4-billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The last time anyone in the ranking neared this amount was in January, when Tesla’s Elon Musk briefly hit $210-billion. The two men spent the first part of the year trading the top spot as the world’s richest person, but Bezos has cemented his hold on number one since mid-March as Amazon shares climbed almost 20% during that time.
Soaring stock prices in recent months have boosted the fortunes of a group of tech titans including Musk. He remains in second place behind Bezos with a $180.8-billion net worth even as Tesla shares fell on Tuesday. French luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault is third at $168.5-billion.
Bezos’s record haul is even greater than during a 2020 Amazon stock surge, when his net worth topped out at $206.9-billion as the pandemic turbocharged the company’s price. Bezos, 57, officially stepped down as Amazon’s CEO this week after a 27-year run. He still owns about 11% of the company and serves as the firm’s executive chairman.
The Pentagon said on Tuesday it was scrapping a $10-billion cloud computing contract awarded in 2019 to Microsoft after several years of wrangling between the government and some of the biggest US tech companies over the deal. The decision indicates it planned to split the work between Microsoft and rival Amazon.
MacKenzie Scott, Bezos’s ex-wife and the 15th richest person in the world, saw her wealth jump $2.9-billion Tuesday, eclipsing the $2.7-billion she’s given away so far this year. It’s just a reminder that some billionaires can’t give their money away faster than they make it. — Reported by Scott Carpenter and Sophie Alexander, (c) 2021 Bloomberg LP