THE CHANGING FORTUNES OF THE WORLD’S RICHEST
f Jeff Bezos’ first week without being CEO of Amazon is any indication, Bezos’ fortune is safe with his protégé Andy Jassy at the helm.
Amazon stock surged 5.9% this week to new record highs, boosting Bezos’ fortune by $10.6 billion, to an estimated $212.4 billion—far outpacing the S&P 500’s 0.4% gain and the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s 0.2% gain during the holiday-shortened trading week.
Amazon’s climb likely had less to do with its CEO transition than with the Department of Defense’s announcement Tuesday that it was canceling the $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) Cloud contract it had awarded to Microsoft in 2019. Amazon filed a lawsuit after that decision, alleging that Donald Trump applied improper pressure to snub the company—the former president has a long history of verbal attacks against Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post.
With a new administration in the White House, the Pentagon retreated and said in a press release that it is once again soliciting pitches from both Amazon and Microsoft, with the existing JEDI contract no longer meeting its needs. Amazon stock rose by 4.7% on the news Tuesday after the long weekend. Its strong week also made Bezos’ ex-wife MacKenzie Scott richer, lifting her net worth by $3.5 billion to an estimated $62.5 billion. The competition reopening for the Pentagon’s cloud contract also helped Oracle’s stock increase by 7.3% for the week, making cofounder Larry Ellison $6 billion richer.
Meanwhile, Bezos spent part of his first week of freedom from Amazon’s day-to-day operations mingling with billionaires and power brokers in Sun Valley, Idaho, where he was spotted with his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez. The annual retreat in the resort town attracted at least 25 billionaires worth a collective $825 billion. Bezos’ leisure time will get more intense on July 20 when he lifts off on his space exploration company Blue Origin’s first human spaceflight.
Bezos’ fortune trailed French luxury tycoon Bernard Arnault as recently as a month ago after the duo spent weeks leapfrogging each other, but his recent surge has made him $23 billion richer than Arnault—cementing his spot as the world’s richest person.
HERE ARE THE BIGGEST BILLIONAIRE GAINERS THIS WEEK.
The net worth change is from close of markets Friday, July 2 to Friday, July 9.