Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, saw his personal fortune skyrocket by a whopping $13 billion (£10bn) in one day this week following a surge in Amazon share prices.
According to Bloomberg’s Billionaire’s Index, the increase marks the largest ever recorded in one day.
So far this year, Bezos’ wealth has grown significantly, Bloomberg reports. Amazon share prices have increased by 70% in value since January, meaning that the billionaire has added a cool $74 billion ($58bn) to his fortune.
For context, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is ranked fourth on Bloomberg’s tracker list with an estimated wealth of $89 billion while Bill Gates, recorded as the world’s second-richest person, is believed to be worth $113 billion.
Bezos’ vast fortune, estimated to be worth $189 billion, means he is worth more than Britain’s most valuable company, AstraZeneca, which is valued at $153 billion (£121bn).
A range of other household brands in the UK, including Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and several high street banks – such as RBS and Barclays – could also be pocketed by the Amazon CEO.
On a global scale, Bezos’ fortune also exceeds the GDP of several countries, including Iraq, Qatar, Hungary and Ukraine.
Another surge in share prices could even see the American billionaire’s fortune overtake the GDP of Greece. Currently, his fortune stands at around $14bn behind the Southern European country.
Amazon has undoubtedly benefited from the Covid-19 pandemic so far this year. With millions globally working from home and countless businesses closing down operations, consumers have turned to online shopping in increased numbers.
- Rare Enigma M4 machine sells for bumper price at auction
- UAE makes history with successful launch of Mars probe
- UK Government admits Trump pressure led to Huawei ban
Despite its successes so far during the pandemic, the company has courted controversy over some questionable working practices.
The retail giant has been threatened with lawsuits in the United States and Europe amid claims it is failing to prevent the spread of the deadly virus in its warehouses.
In the US, one union accused the company of putting workers at risk due to a lack of appropriate safety measures and equipment. Earlier this month, Amazon announced it will introduce new technology to ensure employee safety. This will include a wearable device that helps staff maintain social distancing measures on-site.
Bezos has received praise for a number of previous charitable efforts. The billionaire has donated $100 million to help food banks amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier this year, he also pledged $10 billion to help combat climate change. However, critics are keen to highlight that Bezos’ charitable pledges amount to a tiny fraction of his overall fortune and insist he could do more.