Amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos’ wealth has increased by $35 billion since the beginning of the year to $150 billion, as per Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Bezos’ wealth is largely link to Amazon’s climbing stock price. In March, around the time when the novel coronavirus was declared a pandemic, the company saw a “major surge” in demand, per its first-quarter earnings call. The retail giant went on an enormous 175,000-person recruitment drive to cope with demand. The company’s stock has hovered above the $2,000 mark through the pandemic, closing at $2,483 on Friday. Bezos is the firm’s biggest insider shareholder, with more than 55 million shares.
This is not the first time Bezos has hit the $150 billion milestone. He first attained it in July 2018 — a feat that made him not only the richest person in the world but also in modern history. He is now $35 billion ahead of the next-richest person in the world, Bill Gates.
It was earlier reported that Bezos might be on track to becoming the world’s first trillionaire by 2026.
As Bezos’ wealth grows, his company has come under scrutiny for its treatment of the warehouse workers who pick and pack items for online orders.
In March the company introduces a temporary $2 pay rise on its usual $15 minimum hourly wage for warehouse workers, though this policy was discontinued at the beginning of this month.
The business software comparison site used data collected from the last five years of the Forbes Rich List to calculate the yearly wealth growth rate of the world’s richest billionaires.
Applying this annual growth rate over the coming years, the study concluded that Bezos – who is estimated to be worth over $140bn (£112bn) – could become the world’s first trillionaire in 2026, at which point he will be 62.