Jeff Bezos world's richest man again after Amazon stock surge

Jeff Bezos has dethroned Microsoft (MSFT) founder Bill Gates as the world's richest human -- at least on paper.

The founder and CEO of Amazon (AMZN) saw his already enormous wealth soar even more on Friday as shares of the e-commerce giant jumped more than $128, or 13 percent, to close at $1,100.95. That not only tacked an additional $60 billion to the company's market capitalization, it also pushed Bezos' net worth to $93 billion, $3 billion more than Gates.

Amazon's stock is up 47 percent this year, putting it in elite company -- only four other publicly listed U.S. companies trade for more than $1,000 apiece. 

Powering the stock this week was a blockbuster earnings report, with revenue for the third quarter rising nearly 34 percent to $43.7 billion, up from $32.7 billion a year ago. Amazon benefited during the period from growing corporate demand for its internet cloud services and record online sales during its Prime Day promotion in July

Amazon's stature among investors reflects its growing dominance in the retail world, where it accounts for roughly a third of all e-commerce transactions, and its ambitions to push into other sectors of the economy, like the food business.

Bezos, who started Amazon as a way to sell books online, built the company into a massive internet retail empire, forcing traditional brick-and-mortar retailers to completely rethink their sales strategies and, in some cases, shut their doors.  

The company's recent push into video content through its Prime subscription service has thrown down a gauntlet to competitors Netflix and Hulu.

Amazon is notable for relentlessly focusing on growth and expansion, not turning a profit for years. If the recent acquisition of grocer Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, partnership with sports giant Nike and rumors Amazon is looking to break into the health care market are any indication, Bezos is looking to make Amazon even bigger -- and manage a firmer hold on his new title.