Sorry Mr. Buffet — you just got bumped off the podium. But only for a hot second. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos officially became the third-wealthiest person in the world, replacing Warren Buffet following a particularly bad day on Wall Street on Thursday. After losing more than $754 million on Thursday following the poor stock performance of his company, BerkshireHathaway, Buffet ended the day at a net worth of $65 billion. And Bezos? While he also lost money late last week (to the tune of $136 million), he ended up ahead of Buffet, with $65.1 billion. But it really didn’t last that long — the two switched spots again by Friday.
There’s definitely no catching up to Bill Gates, who made almost $500 million on Thursday as his competitors lost money, bringing his net worth beyond $89 billion. And as for the number two spot, that belongs to Spanish retail clothing guru Amancio Ortega. His net worth is calculated at $73.4 billion.
Bezos has actually gained quite a bit of ground this year, as he started out 2016 on Forbes’ list of billionaires at number five — at the time, he had $45.2 billion to his name, but since Amazon shares have gone up 10 percent in the last seven months (hitting a record high earlier in July), his stock has soared.
Amazon is now the fifth most valuable company in the United States, and is topped only by big names like Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, and ExxonMobil. And it is indeed thanks to Amazon’s strong year (as well as Buffet’s donations to charitable causes, Forbes reports), that Bezos was able to catch up to Mr. Buffet, at least briefly.
Buffet himself has been quite complimentary of Bezos in the past, telling Squawk Box back in May, “We haven’t seen many businessmen like him. Overwhelmingly, he’s taken things you and I’ve been buying and he’s figured out a way to make us happier buying those products, either by fast delivery or prices or whatever it may be, and that’s remarkable.”
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