World News – Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has reached a net worth of $100 billion — it’s enough this holiday to buy over half a billion Echo speakers or pay the yearly subscriptions of more than 670 million Amazon Music Unlimited accounts.
The online retail mogul this week surpassed Bill Gates on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, advancing almost $11 billion past the Microsoft co-founder. He can thank Black Friday sales for helping Amazon shares to jump more than 2 percent and online holiday sales to increase by more than 18 percent since last year, Bloomberg reported.
The 53-year-old businessman is the first person to reach a net worth of over $100 billion since Gates in 1999, according to Bloomberg. Gates was the world’s richest person prior to Bezos’ climb and is now worth almost $90 billion.
Bezos has surpassed Gates before — but only briefly. In July, Bezos’ net worth was $90.6 billion. Gates trailed behind at a net worth of about $500 million less.
At the beginning of the year, Bezos cracked the top four, surpassing Inditex founder Amancio Ortega and U.S. investor Warren Buffett at the time. Due to Amazon’s profitable success this year, brought on in part by the merger with grocer Whole Foods, Bezos shot to the top of Bloomberg’s index.
Just this week, Bezos rose another $2.4 billion, which gave him the final push to reach the 12-figure net worth.
Questions, meanwhile, continue to swirl regarding how else Bezos plans to use his wealth; he acquired The Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million. 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.
Gates donated 5 percent of his net worth to charity this year, which may have made it easier for Bezos to breeze past him. Bloomberg calculated that Gates would have a net worth of about $150 billion if not for donating large portions of his wealth to charitable causes.
Bezos has been giving away Amazon shares worth about $500 million every year since 2002. However, just in June, Bezos sent out a tweet requesting ideas on how to make sure his “philanthropic activity” is “helping people.”
by YELENA DZHANOVA, NBCNews.com