Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has become the world's newest (and only since Bill Gates back in the late 1990s) $100bn billionaire after his personal fortune surged by $2.4bn on the run up to Black Friday sales around the world.
Share prices for the online retailer jumped by about 2 per cent, riding on the back of optimism in business circles that Amazon's value would grow during the shopping and spending extravaganza.
Released figures show that compared to last year, sales over the internet on Black Friday shot up by nearly a fifth (18.4%), as shoppers eagerly snapped by bargains.
Amazon founder Bezos becomes world's richest person
Bezos has already seen his wealth soar by $32.6bn before the spending bonanza this year, and an extra $2.4bn ahead of the consumer frenzy secures his position as the world''s richest man.
He is trailed by Bill Gates - who saw his fortune reach above $100bn in 1996, the first in the world - when the value of Microsoft surged on Wall Street.
His current wealth is estimated at $86.8bn, but analysts say he would be worth $150bn had he not given away some 700 million in shares in Microsoft and $2.9bn to charity after re-inventing himself as a philanthropist.
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Bezos has to date has not given away any of his wealth, but in June he tweeted that he wanted the help people with his fortune and was looking for ideas for how to share it.
He wrote: “I’m thinking I want much of my philanthropic activity to be helping people in the here and now — short term — at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact.”
Request for ideas… pic.twitter.com/j6D68mhseL— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) June 15, 2017
His post to his followers of more than 220,000 quickly turned up more than 22,000 likes and almost 50,000 comments with suggestions as to how Bezos could make a difference.
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To date the Amazon founder has not revealed if he has shared any of his fortune.
Bezos started Amazon in his basement in Seattle 22 years ago, after he quit his job as a hedge fund manager in New York.
The company is currently one of world’s leading online retailers, and in April of this year was valued at $430bn, according to CNN.
This article originally appeared in The Independent
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