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Amazon's Jeff Bezos Just Overtook Bill Gates As The World's Richest Man

With the title comes social responsibility. Is Bezos up to it?

The title of “world’s richest person” has been a revolving door of entrepreneurs and execs ranging from finance to tech to retail. However, as the dynamic list fluctuates with stock valuations, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has always managed to find his way back to the top.

It would seem he’ll have to find his way back one more time.

Overnight, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos dethroned Gates to take the title for the first time. Amazon’s stock price is riding unprecedented highs following a wildly successful Prime Day as well as news that the retail juggernaut is creeping into the grocery space with its acquisition of Whole Foods and reports that it’s also taking on meal services such as Blue Apron.

After enjoying a 1.3% increase in stock price, the face of Amazon saw a bump in net worth of $1.1 billion, edging out Bill Gates to earn him the distinction of the richest person on the planet — for now.

Amazon’s stock valuation has been particularly volatile amid so much news surrounding the company’s nascent projects and goals, so experts are by no means considering this upset a permanent development, as they rarely do amid the constantly fluctuating valuations of the world’s largest companies.

Gates had held the title since May 2013, but with so many new, diverse ventures on Amazon’s books, there are many opportunities, however uncertain, for Bezos to not only maintain the title but gain ground on the field of uber-wealthy execs.

Over the course of 2017, Bezos has climbed from being the fourth-richest man to the richest. The marginal benefit to any one person at this echelon of wealth is all but negligible, but his newfound status does speak to the high hopes the financial community has for Amazon, a company that seems to be poised for even more growth.

Regardless of where he or any other elite stands, many are holding out hope that they take a page from the playbooks of former titleholders Warren Buffett and Gates to share some of their massive fortunes for social and humanitarian purposes, as we’ve seen with the much-lauded Giving Pledge.

Bezos has the title. Let’s see what good he can do with it.

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