Amazon boss Jeff Bezos lost his title as the world’s richest person last week – if only for 24 hours.
Shares in the e-commerce giant fell 7% on Thursday after it reported disappointing third-quarter earnings. This pushed Bezos’ fortune down to below that of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, reported Forbes.
However, the Amazon founder’s net worth was back up the following day, restoring his status as the wealthiest person in the world.
Forbes says: “It’s possible Bezos could lose the crown once more as Amazon continues to invest heavily in infrastructure to support one-day shipping – a delivery time that he hopes will become standard for all Amazon Prime members.”
The magazine adds that Bezos’ fortune is “heavily reliant on the performance of the company he started”, while Gates is “much less dependent on his own creation”.
Here are other top richest people around the globe, according to the latest real-time net worth figures on Forbes:
1. Jeff Bezos, $110.1bn
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The former hedge fund manager turned online book seller started Amazon in his garage in 1994. Bezos has invested heavily in space technology and also owns The Washington Post newspaper.
2. Bill Gates, $106.2bn
A permanent fixture at the top of Forbes’ list for the past 20 years, the Microsoft founder has sold or given away much of his stake in the company – he owns just 1% of Microsoft – and now focuses predominantly on his philanthropic work.
3. Bernard Arnault, $101.2bn
Arnault is the wealthiest European on the list. The Frenchman oversees an empire of more than 60 brands including Louis Vuitton and Sephora.
4. Warren Buffett, $84bn
in his ninth decade, the Berkshire Hathaway chief executive, known as the “Oracle of Omagh” is one of the most successful
investors of all time. Like Gates he has pledged to give away more than 99% of
his fortune to charity.
5. Mark Zuckerberg, $70.3bn
Zuckerberg started Facebook in 2004 at the age of 19 and now is among the top five richest men in the world.
6. Amancio Ortega, $70bn
Ortega stepped down as chairman of Inditex, known for its Zara brand, in 2011 but he still owns nearly 60% of its shares.
7. Larry Ellison, $67.3bn
Cofounder of software firm Oracle, Ellison stepped down as CEO in 2014 but still serves as chairman of the board and chief technology officer.
8. Carlos Slim Helu, $61.8bn
Mexico’s richest man, Slim Helu, and his family control America Movil, Latin America’s biggest mobile telecommunications firm. He also owns a stake in Mexican construction, consumer goods, mining and real estate, as well as 17% of The New York Times.
9. Larry Page, $57.9bn
In 1998, Page co-founded Google with business partner Sergey Brin, and still helms Alphabet, Google’s parent company.
10. Mukesh Ambani, $57bn
Ambani’s late father, Dhirubhai, founded Reliance Industries as a small textile manufacturer in 1966. Now the oil and gas giant is among India’s most valuable companies.
What about the UK?
The billionaire Hinduja brothers are the richest people in the UK, according to latest rich list from The Sunday Times, published in May.
Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja, who control the Hinduja Group conglomerate, saw their wealth rise by £1.356bn in the last year to £22bn, says the newspaper.
The Hinduja Group is a family business originally founded in Mumbai in 1914, and now “has interests around the world including in oil and gas, banking, IT and property”, the BBC added.
Chemicals entrepreneur Sir Jim Ratcliffe fell from the top spot to third place, behind property moguls David and Simon Reuben.
Elsewhere, controversial entrepreneur Sir Philip Green crashed down the list over the past year as he is no longer a billionaire.
Robert Watts, who compiled the list, said 2019 appeared to be “a bumper year for the super-rich, with record wealth, more billionaires and the entry level rising to £120m”, but he added that “many of the rich are nursing big losses after a year of turbulence on the stock market and political deadlock in Westminster”.
Who is the richest person of all time?
Last year Bezos was declared not only the wealthiest person alive – but of all time.
But while his estimated fortune is technically the largest ever accrued by one individual, this does not take into account inflation or a number of other factors, including how wealth is actually measured. With a fortune of around $400bn, Mansu Musa 1 of Mail, the first king of Timbuktu, may not be a household name, but by most estimates is the richest person who ever lived.
Deriving his wealth from his country’s vast salt and gold deposits, which at one time accounted for half the world’s supply, Musa ruled West Africa’s Malian Empire in the early 14th century, constructing hundreds of mosques across the continent, many of which survive to this day.
With a fortune estimated at between $300-$400bn in today’s money, Tsar Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov (Nicolas II) of Russia was deposed and subsequently executed by the Bolsheviks in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution.
The Independent notes that, following his canonisation by the Russian Orthodox Church, he is also the richest saint in history.
Excluding kings, princes and those who inherited their wealth, the list of the world’s richest-ever men – and they are always men – is dominated by the so-called robber barons of 19th and early 20th century America.
Often cited as the richest person who ever lived, oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller was the first person to have a net worth of over $1bn in the money of the time.
At the time of this death his estate was worth an estimated $340bn in today’s money, almost 2% of total US economic output.
With an estimated fortune of $310bn in today’s money, steel magnate and Rockefeller contemporary Andrew Carnegie sold his Carnegie Steel Company to JP Morgan for $480m in 1901, and later made his name with his philanthropic donations.
Automobile pioneer Henry Ford, who perfected the production line and has become a by-word for American entrepreneurship, had a fortune of around $199bn at the time of his death in 1947.