Since June 1, the tech titan’s net worth has grown over $5 billion and now totals $141.9 billion, according to the Forbes World’s Billionaires list. That makes Bezos worth roughly $49 billion more than Bill Gates and about $60 billion more than Warren Buffett.
This latest win for Bezos is just one of many he has enjoyed this year.
REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa
Amazon’s customer base has remained loyal through the latest Prime price hike in exchange for a slew of services and perks, and the company’s stock has continued to increase in value. Even Buffett now regrets not investing in Amazon when he had the chance.
Earlier this year, Bezos officially became the richest person in the world and also helped make Amazon the second most valuable company in the world, behind Apple. And his success can arguably be traced back to a risk he took when he was 30 years old.
Bezos was a straight-A high school student and the class valedictorian, and he got accepted via early admission to Princeton, according to Brad Stone’s biography “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon.” He majored in computer science and electrical engineering, and then went on to work various finance and tech jobs after college.
It was while serving as a vice president at the hedge fund D. E. Shaw in the 1990s that Bezos came up with the idea to sell books over the Internet. Doing so, though, would mean taking a significant risk and perhaps sacrificing his stable job.
“In most cases, our biggest regrets turn out to be acts of omission. It’s paths not taken and they haunt us. We wonder what would have happened,” Bezos said at Summit LA. “I knew that, when I’m 80, I would never regret trying this thing that I was super excited about and it failing. If it failed, fine. I would be very proud of the fact when I’m 80 that I tried. I also knew that it would always haunt me if I didn’t try.”
After “a lot of soul-searching,” Bezos quit his job to start his dream company in 1994 and the decision paid off: Amazon went public three years later.
Amazon’s quick ascension up the Fortune 500 ranks
Jeff Bezos’ company debuted in 2002 and has since caught up to competitor Walmart
For the first time in history, Amazon cracked the top 10 of the Fortune 500 list on May 21, alongside corporate behemoths Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, Exxon Mobil and, of course, Walmart.
With revenue of $177.87 billion, as of the company’s 2017 fourth-quarter earnings report, Amazon placed eighth on this year’s list of America’s largest companies. That’s up four spots from its rank last year as No. 12.
Amazon made its debut at No. 492 on the Fortune 500 back in 2002, the same year its biggest competitor Walmart first landed in the No. 1 spot. Amazon has since quickly gained on, and nearly caught up with, Walmart.