Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, lost his place at the summit of the richest man in the world to Amancio Ortega, the Spanish owner of the Zara retail chain on Wednesday and Thursday, before he reclaimed the title on Friday morning.
According to Forbes Magazine, shares of Ortega’s Business Inditex – parent company to Zara, Massimo Dutti and Pull&Bear – got a boost of 2.5% on Wednesday, increasing his personal fortune by $1.7 billion, to $79.5 billion.
However, as of 10 a.m. Friday morning, Ortega worth dropped to $77.8 billion, while Gates was worth an estimated $78.1 billion.
The 80-year-old Spaniard founded fast-fashion giant Zara with his then-wife Rosalia in 1975 in Spain before quickly expanding across the world – with over 6,600 outposts around the world.
Ortega, the son of a railway worker from La Coruña, Spain, focused on creating an efficient retailing operation that adapted to the needs of shoppers. Gap and H&M would take five months to make, design, and distribute new products; Zara could do it in three weeks.
He took the business public in 2001 and debuted on the Forbes billionaires list the same year, with a net worth of $6.6 billion. By then, Gates was already the richest man in the world, with a fortune of $58.7 billion.
With this, there are indications that Gates and Ortega will continue to exchanging places as top two richest people in the world as their stock portfolios continue to vary.
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