Jeff Bezos is now the richest person on the planet (once again) after surpassing Elon Musk on Bloomberg's list

By Jason Duaine Hahn
February 17, 2021 07:50 PM
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Elon Musk (L); Jeff Bezos
| Credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty; John Shearer/Getty

Two weeks after announcing he was stepping down as CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos once again became the world's richest person.

Bezos reclaimed the top spot on Tuesday with an estimated net worth valued at $191 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

This placed him just $1 billion ahead of Elon Musk, the SpaceX and Tesla founder, whose net worth dropped to $190 billion as shares in his car company fell 2.4 percent, CNN reported.

Musk passed Bezos for the first time in early January, knocking the 57-year-old from the top position for the first time in three years, Bloomberg reported at the time.

Following Bezos and Musk on the list were Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Bernard Arnault of luxury goods maker LVMH and Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg.

On Feb. 2, Bezos sent shockwaves around the technology industry when he announced he would leave his role as Amazon's CEO later this year.

Jeff Bezos
| Credit: SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 20: Founder/chairman/CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, speaks onstage during "The Prime of Mr. Jeff Bezos" at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on October 20, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

Taking his place will be Andy Jassy, the current CEO of Amazon Web Services, Bezos told employees in a letter published to their website.

"In the Exec Chair role, I intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives," Bezos wrote. "Andy is well known inside the company and has been at Amazon almost as long as I have. He will be an outstanding leader, and he has my full confidence."

Over the last year, Bezos has focused on other efforts outside of the company, including his Bezos Earth Fund, which will provide billions of dollars to scientists and organizations who are working to save the planet from the effects of rising temperatures.

"This journey began some 27 years ago. Amazon was only an idea, and it had no name," Bezos wrote in his letter. "The question I was asked most frequently at that time was, 'What's the internet?' Blessedly, I haven't had to explain that in a long while."

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In a press release sent out by the company at the time, Amazon said its net income increased to $21.3 billion in 2020, having risen from $11.6 billion in 2019. Last year, Amazon was ranked as the second-most successful company by Forbes, only behind Walmart.

"Amazon couldn't be better positioned for the future. We are firing on all cylinders, just as the world needs us to. We have things in the pipeline that will continue to astonish," Bezos concluded in his letter. "We serve individuals and enterprises, and we've pioneered two complete industries and a whole new class of devices. We are leaders in areas as varied as machine learning and logistics, and if an Amazonian's idea requires yet another new institutional skill, we're flexible enough and patient enough to learn it."