According to Bloomberg, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is once again the world’s richest man. His fortune was valued at $72.7 billion at 4 p.m. in New York, thanks to a recent stock surge. Gates has lost the title since 2007 but on Thursday, his company’s stock price hit a five-year high fortune and is now worth $72.1 billion, according to Bloomberg, putting him about $550 million ahead of the former No. 1, Mexico’s Carlos Slim.
Gates’ wealth has jumped 10% this year as Microsoft’s shares have risen.
At the same time, Slim’s fortune has dropped more than $2 billion this year as Mexico’s Congress passed a bill to quash the market dominance of the 73-year-old billionaire’s America Movil SAB.
Bill Gates’s fortune has also benefited from a rally in stock holdings that include the Canadian National Railway Co (CNR) and waste-collection company Republic Services Inc (RSG). Most of his fortune is held through Cascade Investment LLC, a holding entity through which he owns stakes in more than a dozen publicly traded companies and several closely held operations, including Four Seasons hotels and Corbis Corp.
Less than a quarter of Gates’s fortune is held in Microsoft.
He donated $28 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The couple plans to eventually give away 95% of their fortune.
The surge in Microsoft stock comes despite reportedly poor sales for Windows 8, the company’s latest operating system. In a recent interview, Gates said he expects the OS to build momentum over time and that iPad owners are frustrated by the lack of a keyboard and Microsoft Office functionality.