Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos no longer wears the banner of the richest man in the world during after-hours trading on Thursday. This plunge came after his ecommerce giant reported less than magnificent third-quarter earnings.
Amazon shares fell 7% in after-hours trading, and that was enough to knock Bezos’ fortune down to $103.9 billion. That puts him at number two among the world’s richest. The person who is the (not-so) new number one: Microsoft cofounder and fellow Washington state resident Bill Gates, who is worth $105.7 billion.
Bezos became the richest man in the world in 2018 and the first centibillionaire to ever appear on the The Forbes 400 that year. His net worth reached $160 billion, ending Gates’ 24-year run as number one.
The Amazon chief executive’s net worth drop isn’t entirely due to the decline in Amazon shares. Bezos transferred a quarter of his Amazon stake to his ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos as part of their divorce settlement, which was finalized earlier this year. MacKenzie Bezos is worth $32.7 billion, and among the top twenty wealthiest people in the world.
On Thursday afternoon, Amazon reported a 26% drop in net income in its third quarter. This is its first profit decline since 2017. In after-hours trading, Amazon dropped nearly 9% to $1,624 per share in the 20 minutes after the market closed. It has since rebounded slightly, hovering at $1,657 per share at 7:30 p.m. ET.
The company revealed that it is investing heavily in logistics and delivery infrastructure, with the goal of making one-day shipping the norm for Amazon Prime members. The company disclosed during its second quarter earnings call in July that it had spent “a little bit” more than the estimated $800 million that it has previously said it would invest in one-day shipping infrastructure. The company did not disclose how much it had spent on one-day shipping in the third quarter. But chief financial officer Brian Olsavsky did disclose Thursday that the company plans to spend $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter, presumably to finance the one-day shipping initiative.
Gates, on the other hand, has been out of Microsoft since 2014 when he stepped down as chairman of the massive company, though he remains a board member. He has sold or given away the majority of his Microsoft stake and diversified his wealth over time. He is now the co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest private charitable foundation in the world.
Bill Gates debuted on Forbes’ first ever billionaire list in 1987 with a net worth of $1.25 billion. Bezos first joined The Forbes 400 list of richest Americans in 1998, one year after Amazon went public, with a net worth of $1.6 billion.