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Jeff Bezos ‘Close’ to Passing Elon Musk as World’s Richest


This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

Jeff Bezos is only about $8 billion away from overtaking Elon Musk as the world’s wealthiest person following a surge in Amazon stock — and a slump for Tesla — this year.

Amazon‘s founder and executive chairman has enjoyed a $20 billion rise in his estimated wealth this year, per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That primarily reflects a 13% rise in Amazon stock this year, which has propelled him into second place on the rich list with a net worth of $197 billion.

In contrast, Musk’s fortune has tumbled by $24 billion to $205 billion, largely due to a 24% plunge in Tesla‘s stock.

Bloomberg’s estimate still includes the value of about 304 million stock options from Musk’s 2018 compensation plan, which was recently voided by a Delaware court.

The upshot is that Bezos is now just 4% behind Elon Musk in net worth, and could soon leapfrog him if Amazon keeps rising or Tesla continues to fall.

Bezos owned 988 million shares, or nearly 10% of Amazon, at the end of December — a stake worth $169 billion at Friday’s close.

Meanwhile, Musk holds about 411 million Tesla shares, or a roughly 13% stake in the automaker, worth about $76 billion. His stakes in SpaceX, Twitter, and other businesses make up the rest of his fortune.

It’s worth noting that Bezos plans to sell up to 50 million Amazon shares, valued at $8.6 billion, by the end of January next year, his company’s annual report revealed last week. He adopted the trading plan in November.

Bezos was top of the Bloomberg index from 2017 until January 2021 when a rise in Tesla stock put Musk almost $10 billion ahead at $194.9 billion.

The release of Big Tech earnings in recent days has helped reshuffle Bloomberg’s rich list this year. Meta stock soared 20% on Friday after an earnings blowout, boosting founder Mark Zuckerberg‘s fortune by $28 billion to $170 billion, and bolstering his wealth gain for this year to an unmatched $42 billion.

Buffett beats ‘Google guys’

Meanwhile, Warren Buffett has climbed into seventh place above Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison and the “Google Guys” Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Ellison’s net worth has been hit by the decline in value of his Tesla stake, while a 6% post-earnings drop in Alphabet stock last week trimmed the value of Page and Brin’s holdings.

On the other hand, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway stock is up about 9% this year as the economic outlook brightens. The investor’s wealth swelled by an estimated $10 billion in the first five weeks of this year, while Ellisson’s fortune only grew by about $7 billion, and Page and Brin gained around $2 billion each.

It’s certainly striking that Musk’s net worth has crashed from about $340 billion at its peak in late 2021 to about $200 billion today. However, Tesla stock is still up more than six-fold since the start of 2020, while Amazon shares have less than doubled.

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