Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive of Amazon.com Inc., has become the world’s third-richest person for the first time, Forbes magazine said, passing Warren Buffett, the chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
Bezos’ fortune was US$65.3 billion as of the US market close at 4:30 p.m. EDT on Thursday (4:30 a.m. Friday in Hong Kong), compared with Buffett’s US$64.9 billion, Reuters reports.
Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates remained the world’s richest person, at US$77.7 billion, while Spain’s Amancio Ortega, who founded the Zara clothing chain’s owner Inditex SA, was second at US$72.7 billion.
Facebook Inc. co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg was fifth, at US$54 billion.
Bezos, 52, owns close to 18 percent of Amazon. Its stock has risen by roughly 50 percent since early February, as the world’s largest online retailer continued to upend retailing as more people took to the internet rather than the mall to shop.
Amazon’s share price rose further in after-hours trading, after the Seattle-based company reported better-than-expected second-quarter results.
It earned US$857 million in the second quarter, or US$1.78 per share, compared with analysts’ average estimate of US$1.11 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Buffett, 85, owns close to 18 percent of Berkshire, but his donation this month of US$2.86 billion of Berkshire stock to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and four family charities led to his drop to fourth place.
He has donated more than US$24.3 billion to the Gates Foundation and family charities since 2006.
Berkshire is based in Omaha, Nebraska, and has roughly 90 business units including Geico car insurance, the BNSF railroad and Dairy Queen ice cream.
In June, Buffett called Bezos a “classic example” of how a business owner could thrive, by having focused at Amazon on how to “delight” customers, and keep them coming back, rather than simply process their orders.
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