by Graham Pierrepoint
Whether or not you shop with Amazon, you can hardly deny that their scope has broadened massively – growing from one of the very first online bookstores in the mid-90s to the multi-billion enterprise it is today, it’s hard to believe just how quickly Jeff Bezos’ firm has grown overnight. You can now order groceries and a range of items to get to you the next day – from its humble beginnings just over 20 years ago out of Bezos’ home garage, it’s incredible just how much the brand has grown. For Bezos, too – as CEO and founder of the marketplace – it has resulted in his becoming one of the richest businesspeople in the world – in fact, he received the hallowed crown of world’s richest man recently – but not for long.
On Thursday, July 27, Amazon’s shares hit a big surge of around 1.6% - increasing Bezos’ supposed net worth to around $90.6 billion. This surge saw the CEO and founder overtake Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates by $0.5 billion – and, for the first time in four years, Gates had been knocked off the top spot of the rich list. However, thanks to the fluctuating nature of markets and shares, Bezos’ tenure as the wealthiest man on the planet didn’t last long. In fact, Amazon’s share prices fell again later in the afternoon, once again giving Gates a firm lead.
Both Gates and Bezos are keen on philanthropy – Gates has been running the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for some time – while Bezos has directly engaged with the public in an attempt to discover new ways to help those who cannot help themselves. Amazon, meanwhile, continues to go from strength to strength. Despite having seen a recent drop in share prices by up to 3%, the company’s value is thought to have spiked by up to 40% this year alone – making it abundantly clear that it is a brand which will be sticking around for some time.
Regardless of whom is the richest person in the world – it’s clear that technology is still top of the profitability ladder. Gates helped to revolutionize the way we work, play and communicate – and Bezos arguably transformed the way we shop and entertain ourselves. It just goes to show – whoever has the next big tech idea could well end up rubbing shoulders with Gates and Bezos in the near future at the top of the rich list.