The world's richest person just got richer when the rise in Amazon's stock price led Jeff Bezos to become the first to break his net worth $ 200 billion.
Bezos, 56, founded Amazon in 1994 and owns 11 percent of the company.
On Wednesday afternoon, when Amazon's shares rose another two percent, Bezos' net worth rose $ 4.9 billion.
According to Forbes, the surge meant Bezos was valued at $ 204.6 billion as of 1:50 p.m. EDT on Wednesday.
Jeff Bezos jumped to over $ 200 billion on Wednesday, according to Forbes
Bezos benefited from a surge in Amazon's share price during COVID-19
Bezos is now worth nearly $ 90 billion more than the world's second richest person, Bill Gates, who is currently worth $ 116.1 billion.
The 64-year-old Microsoft founder was the first to be worth $ 100 billion.
Near the peak of the dot-com bubble, when Microsoft peaked then in 1999, Gates' net worth exceeded $ 100 billion, which is roughly the equivalent of $ 158 billion.
And Bezos would have been worth even more if it hadn't been for the most expensive divorce in the world.
In July 2019, Bezos finalized his divorce from Mackenzie, his 26-year-old wife, giving her 25 percent of his Amazon stock as part of the settlement. She worked for the company and played an important role in its early development.
Mackenzie's stock is now valued at $ 63 billion. This makes her the second richest woman in the world after the 67-year-old heiress to L & # 39; Oréal, Françoise Bettencourt Meyers.
Bezos is now in a relationship with former television journalist Lauren Sanchez, 50.
Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos, pictured in 2017. They finalized their divorce in July 2019
Bezos, 56, has been in a relationship with Lauren Sanchez, 50, since January 2019
Amazon's share price has risen nearly 80 percent since the start of the year as the coronavirus pandemic forced people to stay in their homes.
Bezos was valued at around $ 115 billion as of Jan. 1, but his net worth has grown by more than $ 85 billion since then.
His epic payday came when Amazon workers protested that they didn't have enough PPE to keep them safe during the pandemic.
More than 130 Amazon warehouses have confirmed coronavirus cases, according to worker advocacy groups who helped organize Amazon employees.
Amazon requires workers to wear face masks and measures workers' temperatures. The company said it spent more than $ 800 million on COVID-19-related improvements for hourly employees and partners in the first half of 2020, including a $ 2 hourly increase in wages May 16.
Amazon began thorough cleaning of high-touch areas like elevator buttons, door handles, and handrails in late February and early March.
As of April 15, masks were made available and needed to all workers, and a few weeks later a disinfectant spray process called "fogging" was started in the camps, the company said.
Amazon employees protested that the Seattle-based company was not providing enough PPE
In May, employees demonstrated outside the Amazon warehouse in Staten Island
However, the Seattle-based giant has been criticized for months for its handling of the pandemic.
On April 21, more than 350 workers from around camps across the country signed a pledge not to work this week, saying Amazon's measures to protect against the coronavirus or provide paid sick leave were inadequate.
On May 1, a handful of demonstrators left their workplaces in protest.
And on May 4, a senior engineer at the Vancouver-based company resigned in protest at Amazon's handling of employee concerns.
Tim Bray, vice president of the company's cloud computing division, said in a post on his personal blog that he was "dismayed that Amazon fired whistleblowers making noise about warehouse workers fearful of COVID-19".