Amazon's Jeff Bezos becomes world's richest person

Amazon's Jeff Bezos becomes world's richest person

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, is now the richest man in the world, surpassing Bill Gates.

Bezos, who is also Chairman and Chief Executive of the Seattle-based company, was worth nearly $91 billion after Amazon's share price rose more than 1 per cent in morning trading in NY, the Independent reported.

The last person to surpass Gates on Forbes' world's richest ranking was Spanish retail giant Amancio Ortega. According to securities filings, Bezos owns about 80 million shares, or 17 per cent; those shares were valued at more than $US87 billion ($A109 billion) at the peak.

The company's stock had hit an all-time high Thursday morning, though the value fell after Amazon posted a $197 million net income-down 77% from its net income of $857 million in the same quarter a year ago. As reported by Bloomberg, the shift comes as Amazon adhered to an increase in 1.3 percent in its share price ahead of the company's earning report which is scheduled for later in the day.

Bezos was only able to dethrone Gates as a result of the philanthropic efforts of the Microsoft founder.

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To get an sense of how fast Bezos' worth has risen, consider his net worth just a month ago when Amazon bought produce retailer Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. As of 3:20 in NY, it listed Gates's fortune at $89.7 billion and Bezos's at $88.9 billion. With these moves, Jeff has added tens of billions of dollars to his paper net worth. Amazon stock is up about 29 percent for the year, and about 260 percent year over year.

Gates had reportedly given $31.1 billion to charity as at the end of 2016. The power and value of technology can't be overestimated.

When Jeff Bezos was a kid, he spent his summers castrating cows on his grandparent's ranch and working the grill at McDoland's.

In the 30 years since publications have tracked the wealth of billionaires, there have been seven individuals who have held the crown of richest person on the planet.

In January, Bezos pledged the full legal resources of his company to fight the travel ban instituted by the new United States president against seven Muslim-majority nations. Amazon will continue to open new warehouses to fulfill orders, even though sales tend to slow down in the third quarter before rising again during the holidays.

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