Richest Person in the World – January 2018
Amazon.com founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos is the richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $99 billion. Amazon’s stock surged in the last half of 2017 and is thus far showing no signs of slowing down, which has allowed Bezos to distance himself quite a bit from the former (and long-running) richest person, Bill Gates. (Gates is worth “only” about $91 billion. Second place is still not a bad place to be.)
Bezos launched Amazon in 1995, selling mainly books. Since then, the site has grown to sell almost every product imaginable, including Amazon’s own original products such as the Kindle, Echo, and a line of Amazon Basics electronics and other private-label brands exclusive to Amazon. As Amazon grew, it realized that its online infrastructure capacity could be shared — for a price. The resulting offering, Amazon Web Services, now powers some of the biggest sites on the Internet. Recently Amazon made big headlines again when it acquired Whole Foods.
Bezos also owns The Washington Post newspaper. This is not a company under Amazon’s umbrella but is privately owned by Bezos.
Amazon went public in 1997. Today, Bezos still owns about 79 million shares of the company. He sells about $1 billion worth of shares each year to fund his space flight company, Blue Origin.
Who is just below Bezos on the richest list? Go here for a list of the next dozen richest people in the world.