Amazon chief executive and founder Jeff Bezos briefly lost his title as the world’s richest man on Thursday, October 24, after his e-commerce giant reported disappointing third-quarter earnings. Shares fell 7% in after-hours trading, pushing his fortune—mostly consisting of his nearly 12% Amazon stake—to $103.9 billion as of 8 P.M. ET. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates took over as the richest man in the world—a title he held comfortably for 24 years before Bezos took the helm in 2018.
But it’s a new day. Though shares of Amazon fell on Friday compared to Thursday’s market close, the drop wasn’t as steep as in after-hours trading Thursday. Amazon shares fell 1% to $1,760.78 on Friday, putting Bezos’ net worth at $109.9 billion—and back at number one. Bill Gates is just $4.1 billion behind Bezos at number two richest, worth $105.8 billion.
It’s possible Bezos could lose the crown once more as Amazon continues to invest heavily in infrastructure to support one-day shipping—a delivery time that he hopes will become standard for all Amazon Prime members.
The company reported during its second-quarter earnings call in July that it had spent over $800 million on the one-day shipping initiative. It did not share how much it spent on the effort in the third quarter. But Amazon’s net income for the third quarter fell 26%. The company also stated during Thursday’s earnings call that it plans to spend $1.5 billion in just the fourth quarter on expanding its shipping and transportation program.
Bezos’ fortune is heavily reliant on the performance of the company he started. But Gates, who co-founded Microsoft in 1975, is much less dependent on his own creation. He stepped down as chairman of Microsoft in 2014 and had diversified his assets over the years. Gates owns just over 1% of Microsoft and has invested in a mix of stocks and other assets over the years.