How coronavirus pandemic launched Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, to $200 billion net worth

By Chioma Obinagwam

Amazon.com inc. founder, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the world’s richest person, Jeff Bezos, is the first person ever to amass $200 billion (N76 trillion) fortune, Forbes disclosed on Wednesday.

Fueled by the change in consumer habits as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Amazon stock is up nearly 80 percent since the beginning of the year, and Bezos’ net worth, which was roughly $115 billion on January 1, has skyrocketed in tandem.

World’s richest person: Jeff Bezos. Photo: Bosshunting

Confiance News recalls that the COVID-19 pandemic, was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

According to Wikipedia, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January, and a pandemic on 11 March.

Confiance News reports that the devastating spread, however, forced nations to effect lockdown on their populace as a way of containing the spread, prompting them to adopt alternative means of survival and on-line shopping platforms were a major option.

Very busy Allen Avenue Round about during the lockdown in Lagos State, Nigeria. Photo Credit: Confiance News.

Amazon.com, Inc., an American multinational technology company based in Seattle, Washington which has e-commerce as one of its major businesses seem to have seized the opportunity to expand its reach, thus, leading to a surge in profit.

Confiance News also gathered that the company’s financial statements for the second quarter (Q2) 2020 ended June 30, 2020, showed that its Revenue was up 40 percent to $88.9 billion from the $63.4 billion it achieved in the corresponding period of 2019.

Its Net Income recorded a whopping 100 percent increase to $5.2 billion in Q2, 2020 from the $2.6 billion recorded in the same period of preceding year and Earnings Per Share (EPS) closed at $10.30 in the review period compared to $5.22 that it was in Q2 2019.

Apart from Amazon.com, he also owns the Washington Post, aerospace company Blue Origin and other private investments.

Forbes, however, reports that Bezos’ roughly 11 percent stake in Amazon makes up more than 90 percent of his fortune.

“As of 1:50 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, the Amazon founder and CEO is worth $204.6 billion—nearly $90 billion more than the world’s second-richest person, Bill Gates, who’s currently worth $116.1 billion.

“Even adjusting for inflation, Forbes believes Bezos’ fortune is the largest ever amassed. The person to come closest is Gates, who was the world’s first-ever centibillionaire. Near the height of the dot-com bubble, when Microsoft reached its then-peak in 1999, Gates’ net worth surpassed $100 billion, roughly $158 billion in today’s dollars,” Forbes disclosed.

The report stated that Bezos would be even richer had he not gone through the most expensive divorce settlement in history last year. When he split from ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, last July, he agreed to give her 25 percent of his Amazon stake, a chunk of stock now worth $63 billion. Even after giving away $1.7 billion in charitable gifts earlier this year, Scott is currently the world’s 14th-richest person and second-richest woman, behind L’Oréal heiress Françoise Bettencourt Meyers.

“Bezos isn’t alone among tech titans with fortunes surging to massive new heights. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg ended Tuesday as a brand-new centibillionaire, worth $103.1 billion after adding $3.4 billion to his fortune in one day, on Facebook stock gains. That surge continued early Wednesday afternoon, with Zuckerberg up an astonishing $6 billion just on Wednesday as of publication time. He’s now worth $109.1 billion.

“There are now more centibillionaires on the planet than ever. Joining Bezos, Gates and the newly crowned Zuckerberg is LVMH chair Bernard Arnault, who first joined the 12-figure ranks last year. Though his net worth slipped to about $80 billion at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in March, Arnault reclaimed the centibillionaire title in May and today is worth about $115 billion. This makes him the third-richest person on earth–$90 billion poorer than Jeff Bezos.

“Update 8/26/2020, 6:05 p.m.: A regulatory filing made public late Wednesday revealed that Bezos donated 7,548 Amazon shares–worth about $26 million–to an undisclosed nonprofit organization. At market close on Wednesday, Bezos was worth $205 billion,” it disclosed.

Interestingly, at $200 billion net worth, which is equivalent to N76 trillion ($1/N380), Bezos is more than 7 times richer than Nigeria’s N10.81 trillion (revised) Appropriation Bill for the year 2020.

 

Cover Photo: Jeff Bezos. Photo: CNBC

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