Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates has regained his status as the world's richest person for the first time in two years surpassing Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Gates' rise to the top spot may have come after Pentagon awarded on October 25 a $10 billion cloud-computing contract to Microsoft over Amazon.
Since then, Microsoft shares have climbed 4%, resulting in a $110 billion fortune to Gates, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. However, Amazon stock has lost about 2% since the announcement, putting Bezos's net worth at $108.7 billion. Bernard Arnault, Europe's richest person, came third on the list on Friday with fortune $102.7 billion.
In October, Gates, 64, had briefly surpassed Bezos, 55, on an intraday basis after the world biggest online retailer posted its first fall in profit in two years, but the Amazon stock managed to pare losses.
Bloomberg Billionaires Index tracks the wealth of the richest 500 people and is updated each trading day after US markets close. Microsoft share price has risen 48% this year, boosting the value of Gates' 1% stake in the IT firm. The rest of his wealth is derived from share sales and investments made over the years by his family office, Cascade.
Bezos' fortune has dwindled after divorce with his MacKenzie in January. MacKenzie, 49, received 25% of their Amazon holdings in July. Her net worth fell to $35 billion on Friday.
On the other hand, Gates would not have been dethroned from the top spot were it not for his philanthropy. He has given more than $35 billion in donation to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation since 1994.
Bezos had ended Gates' 24-year-reign as the world's richest man in 2018 when his net worth surged to $160 billion. Earlier in July, Gates was pushed to the Number 3 rank by Bernard Arnault, Chairman of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, aka LVMH, as per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
By Aseem Thapliyal