Jeff Bezos has slid to second place among the world's wealthiest. ASSOCIATED PRESS
Jeff Bezos is no longer the world’s richest person—for now, at least.
The e-commerce titan’s net worth slid by $760 million to $115.6 billion as Amazon shares dipped 0.7% today. The nine-figure drop may be a drop in the bucket for Bezos, but it was enough to knock him from first to second place on Forbes’ ranking of the world’s billionaires..
The planet’s new richest person (again): Bernard Arnault, the chief executive of luxury goods behemoth LVMH. Arnault gained $1.9 billion in net worth on Friday as LVMH stock edged up by 0.7%. The Frenchman is currently worth $117 billion, up from $102 billion when he graced the cover of Forbes less than four months ago. “If you compare us to Microsoft, [we are] small,” Arnault told Forbes. “It’s just the beginning.”
Bernard Arnault is the world's richest person. Jamel Toppin for Forbes
Arnault is $7 billion richer than Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, who remains the third-wealthiest person in the world, behind Arnault and Bezos. Gates would be richer than both men had he not given $35.8 billion, and counting, to charity over his lifetime.
Arnault’s LVMH has hit the ground running in 2020. This week, its beauty incubator, Kendo, acquired the rest of Kat Von D’s eponymous beauty brand. And LVMH also bought a tennis-ball-size rough diamond—the second largest in history—from Lucara Diamond Corp. on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. The 1,758-carat gem is a timely splurge, since LVMH made a $16.2 billion bid to buy iconic jeweler Tiffany & Co. in November. Tiffany shareholders are due to vote on the deal on February 4, 2020.
Arnault became the world’s third centibillionaire this past June. He has unseated Bezos as the world’s richest person multiple times before, most recently this past December. Since the two tycoons’ fortunes are less than $2 billion apart, it’s probable they will continue to switch places atop the world.
Correction: This article previously stated LVMH owns Hermès. We regret the error.