San Francisco: Jeff Bezos just snuck past Warren Buffett to become the third-richest person on Earth.
The Amazon.com Inc. founder’s net worth was $65.05 billion Thursday, topping Buffett by $32 million on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. With the gain, Bezos’s wealth has increased by $5.4 billion this year, marking a resurgence after it fell to as low as $43 billion in February amid turbulent global markets.
Most of Bezos’s wealth is tied to Amazon, which has benefited from robust demand for quick-turnaround delivery, cloud services and gadgets like the Kindle and Echo. In April, the Seattle-based company posted its biggest-ever net income and said first-quarter sales climbed 28 percent, including a 64% rise at its cloud-computing division. The shares are up 54% since hitting a low of $482.07 on 9 February.
Bezos’s rise in the billionaire ranking has been helped by Buffett’s philanthropy. The Berkshire Hathaway Inc. chairman donated about $2.2 billion worth of stock this month in his annual gift to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Even so, the 85-year-old has still seen his net worth rise by $2.7 billion in 2016, with Berkshire’s Class A shares up 9.4%.
Bezos, 52, now lags only Spain’s Amancio Ortega, the Inditex SA founder who has a $73 billion fortune, and Microsoft Inc.’s Bill Gates, the world’s richest person, with $89 billion.
Bezos’s rank could climb higher. Carlos Kirjner of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. set his Amazon price target at $1,000 in May, 34% above Thursday’s close of $744.43. With the stock at that price, Bezos’s fortune would be about $86 billion, just under Gates’s current level. Bloomberg
Jack Witzig contributed to this story.