Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, has become the richest man in the world following a surge in Amazon’s stock value.
Bloomberg reports that Bezos has become the richest man in the world after Amazon shares rose by 1.3 percent to $1,065.92 at 10:10 a.m in New York Thursday, putting Bezos’ net worth at somewhere around $90.9 billion, just beating Bill Gates who still has a net worth of $90.7 billion. If stock prices hold past the market’s closing time, Bezos will jump ahead of Gates on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, where Gates has held his position since 2013.
Amazon has had a number of business successes recently, announcing a $13.7 billion bid to acquire supermarket chain Whole Foods in June and recently celebrating their biggest Amazon Prime Day so far. Investors will be looking closely at new subscribers to Amazon’s Prime service, according to Bloomberg, as those that subscribe to the service tend to purchase more products on Amazon.
“Amazon Prime is why so much physical retail is going away,” said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities Inc. “Anyone who joins Prime shops in retail stores 10 percent less, and that number will keep accelerating as Amazon adds more inventory.”
Bezos and his publication, The Washington Post, has come head to head with President Donald Trump often, with Trump recently referring to the newspaper as “Amazon Washington Post” and accusing Bezos in 2016 of using the news outlet to try to sink Trump’s presidential campaign. “He’s worried about me… he thinks I would go after him for anti-trust, because he’s got a huge anti-trust problem because he’s controlling so much,” Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity in May of last year.
Bezos himself has attacked Trump for his policies, even threatening to take legal action over President Trump’s temporary travel ban. In an email sent to Amazon employees, Bezos wrote, “America is a nation of immigrants whose diverse backgrounds, ideas, and points of view have helped us build and invent as a nation for over 240 year. To our employees in the US and around the world who may be directly affected by this order, I want you to know that the full extent of Amazon’s resources are behind you.”