Jeff Bezos has become synonymous with his company, Amazon, the online book retailer turned global e-commerce juggernaut he founded in Seattle in 1994. Mr. Bezos still runs Amazon, ranked the world’s fourth-largest information technology company by revenue. In addition to retail and tech, Amazon has also ventured into the streaming game, with a number of original shows in development.
It used to be that when Amazon’s stock price surged up, Bezos edged out Bill Gates and moved into the pole position on Bloomberg’s Index. And when Amazon’s stock eased up, Bezos could slip into the second position. But Amazon’s recent success has put Bezos out of reach.
“There are two kinds of companies, those that work to try to charge more and those that work to charge less. We will be the second.”
– Jeff Bezo
Bill Gates (Total net worth $98.6B)
It might come as a surprise to some that Bill Gates, who had dominated “world’s richest” lists for well over a decade, is currently is second place. For a while, he slipped into a neck-and-neck battle with Jeff Bezos, where, depending on the day and the stock market, each could land in the top spot. These days, though, there really isn’t much of a battle.
As co-founder of Microsoft, Mr. Gates still holds a 2.4 percent stake in the company, along with a portfolio of diversified assets through a number of publicly traded companies across multiple business sectors, including Canada’s biggest railroad operator. Through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and The Giving Pledge, Mr. Gates has pledged a large portion of his fortune to help solve some of the world’s most pressing public health problems.
“The PC has improved the world in just about every area you can think of. Amazing developments in communications, collaboration and efficiencies. New kinds of entertainment and social media. Access to information and the ability to give a voice people who would never have been heard of.”
– Bill Gates
Warren Buffett (Total net worth $98.3B)
Warren “the Oracle of Omaha” Buffett’s origin story is as American as the proverbial apple pie. Known as one of the most successful and prolific investors of all time, Mr. Buffett famously began his professional career as a paperboy and rode an enviable work ethic all the way to the top of the finance world, culminating with his holding company, Berkshire Hathaway. Fun fact: Berkshire Hathaway was originally a textile manufacturer, which eventually came to be the umbrella for 60+ companies under management.
“We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful.”
– Warren Buffett
The other European on the list also made his fortune in the retail sector. As chairman of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Bernard Arnault controls the world’s biggest luxury goods house, which in addition to the beloved Louis Vuitton brand also includes high profile brands like Tag Heuer and Dom Perignon champagne
“If you deeply appreciate and love what creative people do and how they think, which is usually in unpredictable and irrational ways, then you can start to understand them. And finally, you can see inside their minds and DNA.”
– Bernard Arnault
Amancio Ortega (Total net worth $65.4B)
The tech sector may account for the largest slice of the pie, but the third richest billionaire in the world and number one in Europe is the head of retail giant Inditex Ventures, most famous for the Zara fast-fashion clothing chain. A quintessential “rags-to-riches” success story, Amancio Ortega rose from a humble working class background in Spain to run a multinational retail empire, where he continues to work to this day at the age of 80.
“In the street, I only want to be recognised by my family, my friends and people I work with.”
– Amancio Ortega