JEFF Bezos has been knocked off his perch as the world’s richest person – after being overtaken by wily veteran Bill Gates.
The Amazon chief, 55, has seen his net worth plummet to £81billion ($103.9bn) this year after the biggest divorce in history and his shares tumbling in value.
Bezos' catastrophic year - which saw his bank balance fall from £125bn ($160bn) last year - has enabled Microsoft founder Gates, 63, to edge past him with a net worth of £82bn ($105.7bn).
Gates, a serial winner of planet's richest person, appeared on Forbes’ first-ever rich list in 1987 with a net worth of $1.25bn.
Bezos, who also owns newspaper the Washington Post, saw Amazon’s stock price plummet by seven per cent on Thursday, it has been reported.
But, it’s his split from wife MacKenzie, who helped him build the e-commerce juggernaut, that is the biggest reason for his change in fortune.
After their split in January, 49-year-old mum-of-four MacKenzie was awarded 25 per cent of the couple’s Amazon holdings in July.
That means she is now among the top 20 richest people in the world with a net worth of $32.7bn.
Their marriage ended after Bezos was involved in a nude photo scandal in which embarrassing “below the belt” selfies he sent to his mistress Lauren Sanchez were leaked to US media outlets.
As for Gates, he stepped down as Microsoft chairman in 2014, although he still remains a board member.
He keeps himself busy helping to run the world's wealthiest private charity the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation which focuses on enhancing healthcare and reducing poverty in both developed and developing countries.