Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, 55, has lost his spot as the richest man in the world in a dramatic shift among the top billionaires.

Mega-CEO Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, passed the baton onto Bill Gates, reports New York Post.

Bezos fell to the No. 2 spot after the e-commerce giant's stock price crashed 7 percent on Thursday, according to Forbes.

With his fortune now at $163.4 billion, the Amazon CEO left the title to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, whose net worth is $166.3 billion.

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Mr Bezos first joined The Forbes 400 rich list in 1998 with a net worth of $2.47 billion, a year after Amazon went public.

He ended Mr Gates' 24-year run by becoming the world's richest man in 2018 and he also became the first centibillionaire to ever appear on the Forbes 400 with a net worth of NZ$251.7 billion.

Microsoft founder, Co-Chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates. Photo / Getty Images
Microsoft founder, Co-Chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates. Photo / Getty Images

Jeff Bezos' net worth decline isn't entirely due to Amazon's stocks, as he would still be ranked at the top if he and MacKenzie Bezos, 49, hadn't divorced.

In January, the pair announced their split.

MacKenzie is currently among the top 20 wealthiest people in the world after receiving nearly a quarter of their Amazon holdings in July — with a net worth of NZ$51.4 billion.

Mr Gates, who debuted on Forbes' first-ever rich list in 1987, with a net worth of NZ$1.96 billion, stepped down as chairman of Microsoft in 2014.

He is now the co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.