Amazon founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos was the richest person in the world for several hours on Thursday, enjoying a net worth of $92.3 billion and surpassing Bill Gates's valuation of $90.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index that tracks the wealth of the 500 richest people on the planet. Gates quickly reclaimed the top spot following Amazon's publication of its consolidated financial report for the second quarter of the year that missed analyst estimates despite revealing a 25 percent increase in net sales, posting $38 billion in this segment over the three-month period ending June 30. The report still disclosed weak earnings per share that amounted to 40 cents and were some distance away from the average EPS estimate of $1.42, causing Amazon's stock to fall by around three percentage points in after-hours trading on Thursday and reducing Bezos's net worth by $3 billion to $89.3 billion as of the latest update.
This turn of events still marks the first time that Bezos was considered to be the richest man alive and managed to displace Gates from the number one spot on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index which he continuously held since May 2013. The third spot on the list belongs to Spanish business magnate Amancio Ortega, an 81-year-old who founded the Inditex fashion group which owns Zara and has an estimated net worth of $82.7 billion. It's unlikely that Bezos will drop further down the list in the coming months though the gap between Amazon's top executive and Gates may widen come October when the Seattle, Washington-based e-commerce giant posts its financial results for the third quarter of the year, as the company's latest estimate predicts the possibility of an operating loss over the current period. The firm's prospects still look bright in the long term as Amazon is by far the most valuable tech company that trades at over $1,000 per share in the United States, having originally reached the $1,000 milestone in late May.
The company continues with its aggressive business strategy that propelled it to the top of the tech industry to this date and is currently preparing for another major expansion with the goal of further increasing its already massive distribution footprint in the U.S. Shortly before announcing its latest financials, Amazon revealed that it's organizing the first jobs fair in its history in an effort to hire 50,000 American workers.