Bezos Closer to Reclaiming World’s Richest Man Title

  • This week, Jeff Bezos sold 12 million shares of Amazon stock, worth about $2 billion.
  • This is Bezos' first major stock sale in the company since 2021.
  • The move puts Bezos on track to overtake Elon Musk as the world's richest man.

Jeff Bezos This week, 12 million Amazon shares were unloaded, netting it about $2 billion in a strategic move that could position it to once again claim the title of “the richest man in the world“.

The sale was in line with the company's plan announced earlier in February that Bezos would sell 50 million shares by the end of the year, valued at about $8.5 billion in total.

Bezos owned 988 million shares, or just under 10% of Amazon, at the end of December, according to the company's 2023 proxy statement, with his entire stake worth about $168 billion.

A sharp rise in Amazon shares this year has led to a $22.6 billion increase in the estimated wealth of the company's founder and executive chairman, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The rise propelled Bezos to second place on the list of the world's richest people, with a net worth of $200 billion at press time.

Although the exact reason for Bezos' decision to divest his shares is unknown, the massive sale narrows the gap between his net worth and that of Elon Musk, positioning Bezos to overtake the Tesla CEO in the ranking of the most valuable people. richest in the world.

Before Amazon's stock selloff this week, Bezos' net worth was just $5 billion behind Musk's $200 billion fortune, putting the title of No. 1 billionaire well within his reach. Since then, Musk's net worth has reached $209 billion, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index, but the race for Bezos to catch up to Musk is on.

Bezos became the world's richest person for the first time in 2017, surpassing Bill Gates. The two men traded titles until the end of the year, but Bezos held the position of the world's richest man since 2018. until 2021, by Forbes' list of the world's billionaires, when Musk overtook it.

While Bezos' wealth increased this year, Musk's wealth fell by $29 billion, partly due to a 27% drop in Tesla's. due to weaker-than-expected growth at the electric car maker, as well as a Delaware judge's Jan. 30 ruling that overturned Musk's $55 billion in compensation from Tesla.

The Forbes list of billionaires as of February 1 places Musk second among billionaires, behind Bernard Arnault, CEO and president of luxury goods group LVMH, and Bezos holding third place. However, Bloomberg's list, which is updated at the close of each trading day in New York, ranks Musk first with a fortune of $209 billion, followed by Bezos at around $9 billion and Arnault in third position.

Musk owns 411 million, or about 13%, of Tesla shares, valued at about $73 billion. His investments in his other companies, including SpaceX, The Boring Company and X, make up the rest of his wealth.

Bezos and Amazon representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

This week's stock sale is not the first time Bezos has divested a large portion of his Amazon holdings, although it is the only significant sale he has made since 2021. That year , Bezos sold $2.5 billion worth of stock as he prepared to sell stocks. resign as CEO.

In 2020, he gave up $1.8 billion after Amazon shares rose following the company's full-year 2019 earnings call. In 2019, Bezos gave up about $2.8 billion. billion dollars worth of company stock.

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