After more than two years, Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates reclaimed his title as the world’s richest person with a net worth of $110 billion, dethroning Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, whose net worth is now $109 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.
While briefly topping Bezos last month after Amazon announced its 28% profit drop for the last three months in September, Gates quickly fell back down, yielding to the Amazon chief executive.
But why is Gates suddenly soaring past Bezos?
Microsoft’s $10 Billion Cloud-Computing Contract with the Pentagon
On Friday, Microsoft’s shares increased by 48 percent, which is attributable to Microsoft’s recent $10 billion contract deal with the Pentagon, back in October. The cloud-computing contract, known as the “Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure,” or JEDI, aims to bring the U.S. Military’s technology into the 21st century age of technology.
Unfortunately, the contract, while a game-changer to Microsoft, comes at a high-cost both internally and legally. One group of Microsoft employees, known as Microsoft Workers 4 Good, argue the contract isn’t necessarily in the best interest of the company, requiring the company to be “complicit of ‘increasing the lethality’ of the U.S. Department of Defense.”
Despite the objections, Microsoft has indicated that this contract is hopefully the first of many, indicating its desire to continue pursuing government and military work. Soon, it will be involved in bids for a second large U.S. Department of Defense contract involving a cloud-based email and collaboration software. Bye-bye Blackberry’s. Not good for Blackberry unless they somehow get a piece of that contract.
Either way, Microsoft’s recent partnership helped spark the on-going wealth race between Bezos and Gates was reenergized.
Bezos’ $38 Billion Divorce Settlement
While Microsoft is experiencing high levels of excitement across the board, the same cannot be said for Bezos.
Unfortunately, the Amazon CEO has been pre-occupied with his expensive ass divorce, reportedly worth over $38 billion, from his wife of 25 years, MacKenzie Bezos. The divorce settlement required the Amazon CEO to pay her out a significant portion of his Amazon stake, transferring 19.7 million shares of Amazon.co, bringing her net worth to approximately $108.7 billion. Bezos’ divorce is believed to be the world’s most expensive divorce on record.
Currently, Bernard Arnault, Europe’s richest person, is fourth, with a net value of $102.7 billion.