The world’s richest person Jeff Bezos is now the wealthiest in history after his fortune soared past £153 billion.
The Amazon founder pocketed £6.1 billion on Tuesday alone following the Pentagon’s decision to scrap a major cloud computing contract with rival Microsoft. Businessman Mr Bezos, 57, stepped down as Amazon chief executive on Monday to focus on his space company, Blue Origin.
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He still owns about 51 million shares in the tech giant – whose stock soared 4.7% in the wake of the Pentagon’s move.
It means Amazon has the chance to bid for the contract which could be worth more than £7 billion – and gave Mr Bezos’s net worth a further spike.
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index showed his wealth is greater than the previous record of £152 billion which his bitter space rival, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk, owned in January. Mr Bezos’s gains on Tuesday pushed his net worth to the highest level of anyone since the index launched in 2012, making him the richest man in modern history.
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But adjusted for inflation, other historical figures may have been even richer. At the peak of his wealth, oil magnate John D Rockefeller is said to be worth around £253 billion in today’s money.
Further back in history, world leaders who controlled vast swathes of the globe had fortunes which were nearly incalculable.They included the Mongol warlord Genghis Khan who conquered 12 million square miles of land during his lifetime.
In October 2019 Amazon Web Services claimed President Trump influenced the Pentagon’s decision to award its Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure (Jedi) project to Microsoft. The company took the US defence department to court, arguing that its tender process was flawed and unfair.
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Losing bidder Amazon suggested it was improperly influenced by then-president Donald Trump’s dislike of Mr Bezos, who owns the Washington Post, a news outlet often criticised by Mr Trump.
The Jedi project was meant to store and process vast amounts of classified data, allowing the US military to improve communications with soldiers on the battlefield and use artificial intelligence to speed up its war planning and fighting capabilities.
Amazon, Microsoft and cloud computing rivals now have the chance to bid for the new contract.
Photo Credit: Getty