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Amazon founder to become world’s first trillionaire

Lucy Dean
·2-min read
Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos speaks after receiving the 2019 International Astronautical Federation (IAF) Excellence in Industry Award during the the 70th International Astronautical Congress at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC on October 22, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Jeff Bezos will become the first trillionaire. Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder and world’s richest person Jeff Bezos is on track to becoming the first trillionaire, as the coronavirus pandemic supercharges his ecommerce empire.

Bezos, who has an estimated net worth of US$143.9 billion (AU$222.62 billion), will become a trillionaire by 2026, should his wealth continue to grow at its current rate of 34 per cent a year, analysis from Comparisun revealed.

Bezos’ wealth has been rocketing higher at this rate for the last five years.

That’s despite paying out US$38 billion in the largest divorce settlement in history last year, and before considering how coronavirus has sent the Amazon share price soaring 29 per cent in 2020.

And that’s also despite the S&P500 stock index down nearly 12 per cent since the beginning of the year.

As the Comparisun data only goes up to September 2019, Bezos could well become the world’s first trillionaire even sooner. The Amazon chief has seen his fortune grow by a whopping US$28.3 billion in 2020 as the company’s sales topped US$75 billion in the first three months of this year alone.

In fact, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Bezos net worth rose from US$125 billion to US$143 billion between 12 April and 5 May alone - an increase of US$18 billion.

If Bezos reaches that status, he will be worth more than the individual GDPs of 179 countries with a combined population of 3.4 billion, or 43.7 per cent of humans alive.

While the Comparisun research predicted Bezos would hit the milestone first, at age 62, Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg is set to hit it youngest. His fortune is growing fast enough to see him join the club at age 51 in 2036.

Amazon controversy

Bezos’ roaring wealth comes amid anger over how Amazon has handled the public health crisis.

Activists and workers have accused Bezos and the company of failing to protect workers’ safety, claiming more than 100 Amazon workers have caught coronavirus.

Workers said they were concerned they were taking the disease home to vulnerable family members, and that they felt they were being taken advantage of.

The company has defended its processes, claiming worker safety is its priority.

Bezos will donate US$100 million (AU$166.7 million) to food banks in America as coronavirus pushes thousands into unemployment.

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