This happens as Amazon’s shares rises 4.7% with the Pentagon canceling a cloud-computing contract with Microsoft
Already the world's wealthiest man, Jeff Bezos, who stepped down as the Amazon CEO on Monday afte a 27-year run, has set a new record for personal net worth by topping $211 billion.
The 57-year-old pocketed $8.4 billion in net worth on Tuesday alone, reveals the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, as Amazon stock soared 4.7 % on the Pentagon's announcement that it is canceling the $10 billion JEDI contract with Microsoft.
It vaulted Bezos above the previous record of $210 billion, held briefly in January by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has seen his fortunes decline and now holds a mere $181 billion, putting him in distance second after Bezos. French luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault is third at $168.5 billion.
While Tesla stock has declined nearly 10% so far this year, Amazon shares have continued to soar, adding 15.4% since January 1.
Bezos and Musk spent the first part of the year trading the top spot as the world's richest person-- but the Amazon founder has cemented his hold on No. 1 since mid-March as Amazon shares climbed almost 20% during that time.
Bezos's record haul is even greater than during a 2020 Amazon stock surge, when his net worth topped out at $206.9 billion as the pandemic turbocharged the company's price. Despite quitting his role as the Amazon CEO, Bezos still owns about 11% of the company and serves as the firm's executive chairman.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon said Tuesday it was scrapping a $10 billion cloud-computing contract awarded in 2019 to Microsoft Corporation after several years of wrangling between the government and some of the biggest U.S. tech companies over the deal. The decision indicates it planned to split the work between Microsoft and rival Amazon.
MacKenzie Scott, Bezos's ex-wife and the 15th-richest person in the world, saw her wealth jump $2.9 billion Tuesday, eclipsing the $2.7 billion she's given away so far this year. It's just a reminder that some billionaires can't give their money away faster than they make it.
Pentagon’s scrapping of the Microsoft deal
Forged under the Trump administration, the contract had been on hold after Amazon filed a lawsuit challenging the decision under then-President Donald Trump, alleging that the former president exerted improper pressure on military officials to steer the contract away from Amazon.
Amazon argued that the deal was tainted by politics, particularly Trump's antagonism toward Bezos, who owns the Washington Post.
Amazon said in 2019 the Pentagon decision was full of 'egregious errors,' which it suggested were a result of 'improper pressure from Trump.'
The company cited a 2019 book that reported Trump had directed the Defense Department to 'screw Amazon' out of the JEDI contract.
The contract for cloud-computing service could eventually have been worth $10 billion for Microsoft.
Instead, the Pentagon will pursue a deal with both Microsoft and Amazon and possibly other cloud service providers.
'With the shifting technology environment, it has become clear that the JEDI Cloud contract, which has long been delayed, no longer meets the requirements to fill the DoD´s capability gaps,' the Pentagon said in a statement.