Amazon.com founder and The Washington Post owner Jeffrey P. Bezos on Thursday briefly became the richest person in the world, displacing Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Bezos' rise to No. 1 followed a surge in Amazon.com shares Thursday ahead of the online retailer's earnings report due out later in the day. The company's shares have beenon a tear over the past year, passing the $1,000 mark and hitting $1,082 around noon on Thursday, propelling Bezos, 53, to $90.6 billion compared with Gates's $90.1 billion. Gates, 61, who built his fortune through Microsoft, has long been among the world's richest and had held the top spot since May 2013.
By midday, however, Amazon shares gave up much of the gain, and Gates reclaimed the top spot on Forbes magazine's real-time measure of the fortunes of the world's wealthiest people.