The richest man in the world gets even richer
The economy might be a shambles, but Jeff Bezos' wallet couldn't tell. He's now worth nearly $172 billion, a new record for the world's richest person, according to Bloomberg Billionaire Index.
Bezos this week surpassed his previous wealth record that he reached prior to his divorce from his ex-wife MacKenzie. Last year, the couple divorced after 25 years of marriage. She received 25% of the couple's Amazon (AMZN) stock, which is roughly a 4% stake in the company.
MacKenzie's wealth also hit a record: She's now worth $57 billion, making her the 12th richest person in the world. Her wealth skyrocketed 54% year to date, or an increase of nearly $20 billion, according to Bloomberg's tallies.
Much of Bezos' wealth is tied to Amazon. He owns roughly 57 million shares, or 12% of the company. And its stock has soared 56% year to date.
Amazon has benefited from a huge increase in online shopping during the coronavirus pandemic, as brick-and-mortar stores either closed or faced long lines as lockdowns overtook the US this year.
Bezos' company, which has faced criticism for employee safety and pay, said this week its giving out more than $500 million as a "Thank You bonus" to frontline workers who were with the company throughout the month of June. That move comes after the company eliminated a $2 hourly wage bump and double overtime pay for frontline workers at the end of May.
Birthday parties in pandemics are dreary, even for billionaires. But Rupert Murdoch’s 90th, which he will celebrate on March 11th, should at least be less stressful than his 80th. Back then British detectives were burrowing into a subsidiary of his firm, News Corporation, then the world’s fourth-largest media company, for evidence that its journalists had hacked phones and bribed police.
In his annual letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB), investing guru Warren Buffett disclosed that the company took an $11 billion writedown last year on its 2016 purchase of Precision Castparts, describing it as "a mistake." The 90-year-old billionaire, Berkshire's chairman since 1970, said in the company's annual letter to shareholders that the "ugly" writedown had a simple explanation.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will step down later this year, turning over the helm to the company's top cloud executive Andy Jassy, the company announced Tuesday. Bezos will transition to executive chairman of Amazon's board.^
Apple and Facebook reported strong earnings from the last three months of 2020 on Wednesday when they released their quarterly earning reports.