Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has become the world's richest person after soaring Black Friday sales and a banner year for his company. Black Friday sales helped Amazon shares to jump more than 2 percent and online holiday sales increase by more than 18 percent since previous year, Bloomberg reported.
However, Gates has a current net worth of $86.8 billion but would far outrank Bezos had he not given away 700 million shares in Microsoft, in addition to $2.9 billion in cash and other assets to charity. Bill Gates, who is now worth $86.8 billion, would be worth approximately $150 billion if he had not given approximately 700 million Microsoft Corp. shares and $2.9 billion in cash to charity since 1996.
Amazon stock climbed 2.5% on Friday to put Bezos over the top.
Online sales on Black Friday were up 18.4 percent year-on-year, and Amazon alone may have accounted for half of all online sales on Black Friday according to one estimate, reports The Verge. Bezos' climbing net worth is due in part to an exceptionally profitable year for Amazon, which saw the acquisition of Whole Foods.
The owner of The Washington Post surpassed Gates as the world's richest person in October, according to Bloomberg. The Microsoft founder is now worth a mere $89 billion, according to Forbes and Bloomberg. Gates, along with Buffett - who occupies the third slot on Bloomberg's list of richest people - have both given significant amounts of their wealth to charity. In June, he tweeted a solicitation for ideas on a philanthropy strategy.
The Amazon CEO is also the owner of space exploration company, Blue Origin, which has an implied value between $1 billion and $12 billion.