Billionaires



August 5, 2019,   12:21 PM

Jeff Bezos Sells About $1.8 Billion Worth of Amazon Shares in Three Days

Angel Au-Yeung

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Image source: Wikimedia Commons

On Wednesday evening, hours after the stock markets had closed, Amazon founder and Chief Executive Jeff Bezos filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission that showed he had sold $1.8 billion worth of Amazon shares over the final three days of July. After taxes, he will net about $1.4 billion.

Bezos sold slightly more than 900,000 shares of Amazon between July 29 and July 31, when the e-commerce behemoth’s stock price was around $1,900 a share. He still retains his title of world’s richest person, now with a net worth that Forbes calculates at $116 billion, using Wednesday’s closing share price for Amazon. Of that, about $108 billion comes from the shares of Amazon he owns.

The new filings also show that Bezos has given his ex-wife, MacKenzie, 25% of his Amazon stake, or 19.7 million shares. Jeff Bezos will continue to exercise voting control over the shares of Amazon he transferred to his wife, according to an SEC filing in April. Her Amazon shares are worth nearly $36.8 billion, making her the third-richest woman in the world, behind only L’Oréal heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers of France and Alice Walton, who inherited part of the Walmart fortune.  

Jeff Bezos has sold large chunks of Amazon stock before, but this appears to be the largest sale to date, measured in dollars. He sold Amazon stock worth $1.7 billion in 2017 in two separate transactions in May and November of that year. In 2017 Bezos told reporters at the U.S. Space Symposium that he was selling $1 billion worth of Amazon stock every year to fund Blue Origin, his space exploration company. 

A spokesman for Amazon did not comment on the purpose of Bezos’ latest stock sale.

Unlike many of the world’s wealthiest, Bezos has done little in terms of philanthropy so far. In September 2018, he announced the Bezos Day One Fund, a $2 billion pledge for two causes: helping homeless families find shelter and creating Montessori-inspired preschools in the U.S. It’s unclear if he’s fully fulfilled his pledge yet.

 



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