Bezos’s fortune hits high just a year after biggest-ever divorce bill
THE fortune of Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder, has surged to a new record high after the tech behemoth boomed in lockdown – just a year after he agreed the world’s biggest ever divorce settlement.
Mr Bezos is now worth an estimated $171bn (£137bn) after Amazon shares climbed 4.4pc to a record $2,878 on
Wednesday. That tops his previous high of $167bn, set on Sept 4 2018, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The 56-year-old’s former wife Mackenzie Bezos was handed a 4pc stake in Amazon as part of the couple’s record $38bn divorce settlement last year after Mr Bezos had an affair with US news anchor Lauren Sanchez.
Mackenzie Bezos’s wealth has also surged due to the share price jump as droves of shoppers flocked to Amazon when stores closed worldwide.
She now has an estimated $57bn fortune, up almost $20bn this year, and is the world’s second-wealthiest woman – ahead of the likes of Alice Walton and second only to L’Oreal’s Françoise Bettencourt Meyers.
Mr Bezos has gained $56bn this year alone, a figure that some say shows the growing wealth gap in the US as many struggle to survive financially.
The company has faced criticism from some employees over safety concerns relating to coronavirus, but has insisted its warehouses have rigorous safety rules. Amazon said it would hand out $500m in a one-off “thank you” bonus scheme to its workers globally.
Mr Bezos owns about 11pc of Amazon’s stock, which accounts for the bulk of his wealth. The company’s valuation now sits at about $1.44 trillion.
The tycoon was one of a several tech bosses to enjoy a bumper start to 2020. The net worth of Bill Gates, the world’s second-richest man behind Mr Bezos, has climbed by $483m to $114bn.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is now valued at about $90bn, up $11bn this year. Further down the list, the fortune of Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk has jumped by almost $26bn to $53bn after he secured the first payouts under an enormous bonus plan.
Among the other winners from lockdown is Zoom founder Eric Yuan, whose wealth has nearly quadrupled to $13bn.
The total value of the world’s 500 richest people now stands at $5.93trillion, up from $5.91trillion at the start of 2020.