Amazon’s Bezos could become first trillionaire
Three years ago, Jeff Bezos was struggling to retain his title as the world’s richest man, but booming demand for Amazon’s services in recent months has sent his wealth skyrocketing.
At $143bn (€132bn), his fortune now dwarfs that of rivals. The 56-year-old is 33pc wealthier than Bill Gates, with $106bn (€98bn). Mark Zuckerberg, in third place, has a fortune of $78bn (€72bn).
Amazon’s dizzying success, which has accelerated under lockdown, has prompted some US publications to question whether Mr Bezos could become the first trillionaire in modern history.
“The Jeff Bezos wealth surge is an unprecedented dynamic in the history of modern markets,” researchers from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) wrote last month.
“Tracking Mr Bezos’s wealth requires a real-time hour-by-hour tracker.”
Since the start of the year, his net wealth has spurted by $28bn (€26bn), equal to the GDP of Honduras, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.
Revenues for the first three months of the year hit $75.5bn (€70bn) and shares in the business are up more than 40pc since the middle of March.
Amazon has been perfectly placed for the pandemic, spanning delivery, entertainment and cloud computing – all areas that have seen demand rising.
Mr Bezos, who founded Amazon in 1994, may still fall a long way short of the $1 trillion mark – but analysts at Comparisun claim bridging the gap may not be as difficult as it seems.
Most of his wealth is held in Amazon shares and, considering the rise in their value, analysts believe his stake of about 11pc could hit the $1,000bn milestone within seven years.
Naturally, forecasts like this should probably be taken with a pinch of salt, and one factor likely to count against him is his personal life.
Under Mr Bezos’s divorce settlement last year, a large chunk of his stake in Amazon was handed to his former wife, MacKenzie.