Jeff Bezos Poised to Reclaim World’s Richest Title as Amazon Stock Skyrockets

After losing the title of world’s richest person to Elon Musk in 2021, Jeff Bezos may be looking to reclaim it.Amazon’s e-commerce millionaire plans to sell up to 50 million firm shares over the next year, potentially increasing his net worth to above $200 billion (Source: Feb. 2).

Bezos had sold 12 million Amazon shares for around $2 billion on February 7 and 8, according to a business filing with the SEC on February 9. Depending on the current market price of Amazon stock, all 50 million shares would be worth more than $8 billion.

It’s unclear why Bezos is selling such a huge percentage of Amazon stock. According to the Amazon 2023 proxy statement, he controlled 988 million Amazon shares worth approximately $170 billion (just shy of 10% of the firm) as of the end of 2023.

On Bloomberg’s real-time billionaire rankings, Bezos is currently trailing Musk by just $9 billion. Amazon’s founder is worth $200 billion, while Tesla and SpaceX CEOs are worth $209 billion. Bezos was the world’s richest person from 2017 (when he surpassed Bill Gates) to 2021, when Musk dethroned him.Bernard Arnault, the owner of LVMH, frequently traded places with Musk and Bezos in the top echelons.

The majority of Bezos and Musk’s fortune is derived from shares in their respective firms.The recent drop in Tesla’s share price and Amazon’s rapid growth present an opportunity for Bezos to beat Musk.

Since the beginning of 2024, Tesla stock has fallen more than 24 percent, costing Musk around $20 billion in paper fortune. Over the same time span, Amazon stock has risen 15%, bringing Bezos $23 billion.

Bezos stepped down as Amazon CEO in 2021, but remained the company’s board chairman. Since then, he has donated over $1 billion annually to fund his space company, Blue Origin, as well as increase his humanitarian endeavors.

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