Amazon.com shares have been on a tear over the past year, passing the $1,000 mark and hitting $1,082 by midday Thursday, propelling Bezos, 53, to $90.6 billion compared with Gates's $90.1 billion.
Jeff Bezos, CEO of e-commerce giant Amazon, has replaced Microsoft's Bill Gates as the richest person in the world.
Of course, no one was really expecting Bezos to stay atop the list for long - and these kind of absurd proclamations tied to personal wealth are a bit of silly tech industry posturing when you take them at face value. Like most tech tycoons, he insists he's trying to change the world rather than get rich. Sign up for the free Good Morning Silicon Valley newsletter. By regularly expanding his business plans, Jeff Bezos has managed to mold Amazon into a multi-billion online retailer of a wide variety of products including video and audio streaming.
Mr Bezos, a relative newcomer to the top of the Forbes list, has benefited from the seemingly boundless expansion of Amazon into new markets.
Gates stepped down as chairman of Microsoft in 2014.
Gates' (first) reign as "world's richest person" came to an end in 2007, when he systematically began giving tens of billions of dollars to charity. As per the Forbes records (which start post 1987), Jeff has become the seventh person to be the World's richest person.
He also owns The Washington Post and founded Blue Origin, the space-travel company.
But like Gates and Buffett, Bezos is not given to many flashy displays of wealth. The surge in the company's stock price is due to its earnings report that's due later today.
Bezos own a 17 per cent stake in Amazon, which started out in 1994 as an online bookseller and has since expanded into nearly every corner of the consumer universe - from logistics to apparel to cloud computing and digital voice assistants.
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