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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos rose to the top spot of the world's richest people for a few hours before Bill Gates reclaimed the title. USA TODAY

Jeff Bezos(Photo: Amazon)

For a few hours Thursday, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos beat out Bill Gates to become the world’s richest man.

After the market opened Thursday, Amazon (AMZN) shares rose 3% to a peak of $1,083.31, driving Bezos’ net worth to $92.3 billion compared to Gates’ $90.8 billion as of Wednesday’s close, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. By Thursday afternoon, Bezos was back in second place as Amazon shares slid 0.7% and dropped further after its earnings disappointed investors.

Bezos has executed a meteoric rise up the billionaires list, a testament to the growing might and wealth of the Seattle company he runs.

Microsoft co-founder Gates, 61, has held the top place in the billionaire list since May 2013. Just a year ago Bezos, 53, was No. 5 on the list. In March, he surpassed Warren Buffett of investment conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway as the No. 2 wealthiest.

But on Thursday their places swapped, boosted by  Bezos’ 17% stake in Amazon shares, which have rallied 40% in the last year on Amazon’s domination in both cloud computing and e-commerce. 

Unlike many of the world’s richest people, Bezos has not signed the Giving Pledge, a campaign launched in 2010 by Buffett and Gates to encourage the world’s wealthiest people to contribute the majority of their money to philanthropic efforts.

More than 150 have done so, including many in the tech elite including Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Bezos maintains a web site listing some of his philanthropic investments at Bezos Expeditions.

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.

In June, Bezos asked his Twitter followers for suggestions on what he could do to make the world a better place.

“This tweet is a request for ideas,” he wrote in the tweet June 15. “I’m thinking of a philanthropy strategy that is the opposite of how I mostly spend my time — working on the long term.”

Some of those projects he cited in his tweet included Blue Origin, the aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight services company he founded, and the Washington Post, which are “contributing to society and civilization in their own ways,” he wrote.

So far, Bezos has not announced what short-term projects might come out of his tweet. He did not respond to a request for comment.

 

Request for ideas… pic.twitter.com/j6D68mhseL

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On Thursday, the Amazon CEO topped Forbes' list of richest people for the first time — a result of Amazon's exploding growth. Video provided by Newsy Newslook