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Jeff Bezos, The World’s First Trillionaire

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.
Credit: Reuters

If Jeff Bezos’ personal fortune keeps growing at its current rate, he could become the first trillionaire by 2026 at the age of 62, according to an analysis from the software-review site Comparisun.

Bezos’ wealth has been increasing at an average yearly rate of 34% over the past five years, according to Comparisun, and that’s despite him turning over Amazon shares worth an estimated $38 billion to his ex-wife, MacKenzie Bezos, as part of their recent divorce settlement.

Comparisun looked at 25 of the richest people and found that only 11 had a realistic shot at becoming trillionaires during their lifetimes. Bezos will likely get there first, but Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg could be the youngest, with his current growth rate on pace to put him in the four-comma club by 2036, when he will be 51.

Bezos is on track to become the first trillionaire by 2026.
Bezos is on track to become the first trillionaire by 2026.
Credit: Comparisun

Comparisun used Forbes’ billionaire list to determine Bezos’ personal wealth, but it pulled data from September, meaning its analysis doesn’t account for the gains Bezos has seen during the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused Amazon’s stock to skyrocket as more people turn to online shopping.

Bezos is worth about $138 billion and has seen his fortune grow by $28.3 billion so far in 2020, according to Bloomberg.

Bezos isn’t alone there. While the coronavirus has ravaged the economy, forcing 36 million Americans to file for unemployment over the past two months, US billionaires quickly saw their collective wealth rebound by $282 billion, about 9.5%, between March 18 (close to when the stock market hit its low point) and April 10, according to a report from the Institute for Policy Studies.

At the same time Amazon’s success continues to boost Bezos’ personal fortune, the company is facing growing criticism of its treatment of workers during the pandemic, including its recent move to drop a $2 hourly raise for warehouse employees.

Workers have staged multiple protests over working conditions in recent weeks as the number of COVID-19 cases have surged among warehouse employees, according to a Reddit tally by a person who says they’re an Amazon insider. (Amazon has refused to share official numbers.)

Lawmakers and regulators are also putting a closer eye on the company. Officials in New York City and the National Labor Relations Board are both looking into Amazon’s firing of whistleblowers, while Democratic lawmakers recently called for a federal investigation into warehouse conditions.


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