Amazon's Jeff Bezos Overtakes Bill Gates as Wealthiest Man in the World
Move over, Bill Gates. Amazon's Jeff Bezos unseated the Microsoft giant for the top spot for the sixth time since Gates's 1995 appearance.
International faces of tech made up a considerable portion of the list. Bezos currently boasts a net worth of $112 billion. To grasp just how much that is, Business Insider pointed out that Bezos makes more money in just one minute of work than the average millennial makes in an entire year. Bezos's wealth comes from a number of sources with Amazon being the most popular. However, Bezos also owns The Washington Post and the SpaceX rival aerospace company Blue Origin.
Gates pulls $90 billion in worth. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg came in fifth place with a net worth of $71 billion. SpaceX CEO and Tesla founder Elon Musk raked in a net value of $20.7 billion.
Internationally, the billionaire list continues to expand. Tencent's Ma Huateng (aka Pony Ma) officially became Asia's richest person with number 17 ranking thanks to the success of WeChat. The company also holds stakes in Tesla, Snapchat's parent company and Spotify. Just three spots below Pony Ma is Jack Ma. Ma serves as chief executive for Alibaba -- a site largely referred to as Asia's response to Amazon. In just one year, Ma's shares rose 76 percent.
According to the Forbes listing, over two-thirds of the world's billionaires are self-made -- largely based out of tech-startups and smart app development (and subsequent sales). China also gained more billionaires this year than any other country, while the United States still holds the record for most billionaires.
The Wealth Gap Expands Further
Gates and his wife Melinda Gates have openly addressed their wealth and the growing global wealth inequality. Most recently, the pair wrote about their wealth in the latest annual letter from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It came largely from Melinda as she wrote:
"It’s not fair that we have so much wealth when billions of others have so little. And it’s not fair that our wealth opens doors that are closed to most people. World leaders tend to take our phone calls and seriously consider what we have to say. Cash-strapped school districts are more likely to divert money and talent toward ideas they think we will fund.
"But there is nothing secret about our objectives as a foundation. We are committed to being open about what we fund and what the results have been. (It’s not always immediately clear what’s been successful and what hasn’t, but we work hard to assess our impact, course correct, and share lessons.) We do this work, and use whatever influence we have, to help as many people as possible and to advance equity around the world."
Investors have noted that particularly in the United States, income has grown disproportionately among those already wealthy. Warren Buffet, former richest man on the Forbes list and a billionaire investor, even mentioned in a PBS Newshour interview that "the economy is doing well, but all Americans aren't doing well."