Jeff Bezos passes Elon Musk to become the world’s richest person—again

Amazon’s CEO gained US$23 billion over the past year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index

The billionaire tango for the world’s richest person continues.

On Monday, Jeff Bezos reclaimed the title with a current net worth of US$200 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The Amazon founder dethroned Elon Musk, who trails behind at US$198 billion, for the top spot. Bezos’s increased wealth stems from the whopping US$23 billion he gained over the past year, the index shows. Musk, meanwhile, lost about US$31 billion; shares for his company Tesla also dropped by over seven per cent yesterday.

Since 2020, the net worth of the five wealthiest people on Earth has surged by 114 per cent to a total of US$869 billion, Oxfam’s annual inequality report shows. Bezos, Musk, and LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault have repeatedly toppled one other as the world’s richest person since 2017. Bezos surpassed Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates that year and was later unseated by Musk in 2021 as Tesla shares surged. Arnault’s fortune surpassed US$200 billion in 2023 for the first time, sliding him into that top spot.

And it’s possible Bezos may not be unseated anytime soon. The Amazon CEO is expected to reach trillionaire status by 2026, according to a study by Comparisun. By reviewing Bezos’s average percentage of yearly growth over the past five years—pulling data from the Forbes Billionaires List—to calculate his yearly wealth growth rate, the results showed he would reach the 13-figure club by age 62. Aside from his leading e-commerce business, Bezos has stakes in many other companies such as Whole Foods, Airbnb, Twitch, Audible, and aerospace company Blue Origin.

As for the world’s 500 richest people, they collectively got US$1.5 trillion richer in 2023. A year before, the same group had lost nearly US$2 trillion. This growth was primarily due to an extraordinary performance of tech stocks, which helped them achieve a 48 per cent increase—or US$658 billion—in their wealth. Musk led the pack, gaining an additional US$95.4 billion last year, which boosted his net worth to US$232 billion.

Mark Zuckerberg added a cool US$84 billion to the bank last year, while L’Oreal heir Françoise Bettencourt Meyers became the first woman to amass a US$100 billion fortune. Israeli-American physician Miriam Adelson (worth US$35.5 billion) and Steve Cohen, the latest PGA Tour investor with a net worth of US$13.9 billion, are ones to watch in 2024, according to Bloomberg. We’ll have to wait and see how this year treats everyone on the list.

This story was first published on Robb Report USA