Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s fortune has soared by a further $24 billion amid surging demand for online shopping during the current health crisis.
The e-commerce tycoon’s pot of gold has been increasingly bountiful as the world tackles the virus. The spot atop Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index was formerly a fraught position, but with Amazon’s continual rise in recent years, its figurehead has reaped the rewards.
Despite losing $36 billion worth of stocks in his divorce in 2019, Bezos has held his position as the world’s richest person for the third year running, far besting the likes of Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Warren Buffett by a considerable distance – his net worth currently stands at a stratospheric $140 billion.
According to Bloomberg, the globe’s top 500 money-makers have lost more than $500 billion this year alone – but through quick-witted, fierce decision-making, Bezos’s fortune has refused to give in, rising by around 20% over the past four months.
Amazon’s shares rose by 5.3% on Tuesday, April 14, to reach an all-time high for the company, with its market cap now at $1.14 trillion. With Bezos owning an 11% stake, this gave way to a substantial increase to his paper fortune.
Behind Bezos, Gates has a net worth of $103 billion, followed by Bernard Arnault with $74.5 billion and Buffett with $74.4 billion. Alice Walton, an heir to the Walmart fortune and the world’s richest woman, sits at 13th on the list with a $55.8 billion fortune.
Ahead of the outbreak’s larger scale, the Amazon chief sold off $3.4 billion worth of shares ahead of market collapse, before raking in more cash through a three-day market rally (this echoed the actions of Larry Fink, the chief executive of fund manager BlackRock, who managed to prevent potential losses of $9 million by also selling off shares).
Bezos has reportedly been working with the World Health Organization as confirmed cases increase around the world, troubleshooting how to best tackle the issue of distributing tests across the globe. This comes after the company recorded its first death from the virus – an operations manager in California who passed away on March 31.
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#Regram @Amazon Today's visits by our founder and CEO @JeffBezos to say thank you to Amazon fulfillment center and @WholeFoods employees. We're all incredibly proud of the thousands of our colleagues working on the front lines to get critical goods to people everywhere during this crisis.
In a letter penned to his employees, Bezos wrote: ‘I’m not alone in being grateful for the work you are doing… your efforts are being noticed at the highest levels of government, and President Trump earlier this week thanked this team profusely.’
While predicting ‘things are going to get worse before they get better’, Amazon has since hired 100,000 workers to cope with demand with a further 75,000 in the pipeline.
It’s okay to not panic about everything going on in the world right now. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization, click here.
Topics: News, Amazon, Billionaires, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Jeff Bezos, Rich List