What just happened? Not only has the Covid-19 pandemic devastated lives, killing around 610,000 worldwide, it's also brought economic meltdown in numerous countries. Many people have found themselves either unemployed or poorer than before the lockdowns began, but it's been a lucrative time for Jeff Bezos, who added $13 billion to his net worth in one day.
As reported by Bloomberg, the Amazon CEO saw the largest single-day increase to his net wealth since the publication's Billionaire Index was created eight years ago. As Amazon shares jumped 7.9 percent on Monday, Bezos' worth surged by $13 billion to $189.3 billion.
Despite the US facing a recession on the scale of the great depression, Bezos has seen his fortune increase by $74 billion this year, cementing his place as the richest person in the world. He's now worth around $189.3 billion, more than the market cap of Exxon Mobil Corp., Nike Inc., and McDonald's Corp.
While many industries have been impacted negatively by the lockdowns, including the aviation and automotive sectors, Amazon is one of those to have benefited. According to eMarketer, US e-commerce sales in 2020 are expected to increase by 18 percent annually, while retail sales are predicted to fall 10 percent YoY. There's also AWS, which continues to experience massive growth.
Bloomberg also notes that Bezos' ex-wife, Mackenzie Bezos, gained $4.6 billion Monday, making her the 13th richest person in the world and the second wealthiest woman behind L'Oréal heiress Françoise Bettencourt Meyers.
Bezos getting even richer will be a hard pill to swallow for many at Amazon. The company has never had the best reputation when it comes to how it treats employees, some of whom took part in a recent "sick-out" alongside Whole Foods workers to protest Covid-19 conditions.
Bezos isn't the only billionaire to increase his fortune during the pandemic. Forbes writes that the 25 wealthiest people on its rich list added almost $255 billion to their worth between March and May.