Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is now the second-richest person in the world

2016 may have been lousy, but is 2017 treating you well? If you happen to be Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the answer is a straightforward one: absolutely. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index shows the Amazon CEO has added $10.2 billion to his fortune this year, taking his overall worth to a whopping $75.6 billion.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is now the second-richest person in the world

There are two extra reasons to be cheerful for Bezos: the first is that $1.5 billion of that came from yesterday alone, while some of us were seeing our wealth drop by £25 (it turns out rum can be expensive in central London pubs). That wealth bump came thanks to Amazon’s announcement that it plans to buy the Dubai retailer Souq.com, which saw the all-conquering retailer’s shares rise by $18.32 on Wednesday.

The second reason for Bezos to be particularly chirpy today is that the latest bump sees him leapfrogging both Warren Buffett and Amancio Ortega in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He’s now worth $700 million more than Buffet, and $1.3 billion ahead of Ortega – Europe’s richest person.forbes_rich_list_2016_tech

If you were Bezos and determined to find a negative in all of this – and that would certainly make yours the very dictionary definition of a “glass half-empty” kind of personality – I can come up with two. The first is that in terms of this year’s wealth gains, he’s only third in the list, behind Chinese parcel-delivery billionaire Wang Wei (+$18.4 billion) and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (+$11.4 billion).

The second is that if Bezos were to ask one his company’s Echos who the richest person in the world is, the Echo would bashfully shuffle its non-existent feet before conceding that, yes, there is someone richer. That man? Bill Gates, at $86 billion.

Given the two billionaires either side of Bezos founded The Giving Pledge – a philanthropic initiative encouraging the super-rich to give away half their net worth – it shouldn’t be too surprising if Bezos does eventually reach the summit to become number one. In the meantime, second-best doesn’t look too bad on this particular league table.

Image: Jeff Mattis used under Creative Commons

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