Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has surpassed Bill Gates to become the world’s richest man.
Assuming stock gains, Bezos has executed a meteoric rise up the billionaires list, a testament to the growing might and wealth of the Seattle company he runs.
Microsoft co-founder Gates, 61, has held the top place in the billionaire list since May of 2013. Just a year ago Bezos was number five on the list.
But on Thursday their places look likely to change.
After the market opened Thursday, Amazon shares rose more than 1% driving Bezos’ net worth to $90.9 billion, compared to Gates’ $90.7 billion. Gates was worth $90.8 billion while Bezos was at $89.9 million, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.
Most of Mr. Gates’s wealth originates from Microsoft. The company’s stock has risen to new highs lately. A Microsoft filing from October said he held nearly 191 million shares of Microsoft — about 2.46 percent of its stock — which are currently worth about $14.1 billion.
But Mr. Gates has spent years diversifying his investments.
Kerry Dolan, an assistant managing editor for Forbes, said the publication also considers extensive assets Mr. Gates holds through his Cascade Investments, which has stakes in private equity, real estate and public companies. Forbes does not include his more than $31 billion in contributions to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in its wealth calculations.
Drew Herdener, a spokesman for Amazon, declined to comment on Mr. Bezos’s move to the top of the Forbes list. Naomi Zeitlin, a spokeswoman for Mr. Gates, declined to comment.