Inside Amazon's strategy of envisioning the future and working backwards
Jeff Bezos sold US$1.7 billion of Amazon.com Inc. stock, bringing the amount he’s unloaded this month to about US$6.7 billion.
Bezos sold 521,936 shares under a pre-arranged trading plan, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. That brings the total sold in three batches in May to 2 million shares. He said in a filing last week that he plans to sell as many as this number.
The world’s richest person continues to hold about 10 per cent of Amazon, the biggest source of his US$188 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Amazon stock jumped 76 per cent last year as people flocked to online shopping, but it’s dropped 7 per cent since the end of April as investors retreat from tech stocks amid fears over inflation.
In the 15 years after Amazon went public in 1997, Bezos sold about a fifth of the online retailer for around US$2 billion. The value of his stake has grown so much in recent years that he can now sell relatively small amounts for billions of dollars. Last year he sold stock worth more than US$10 billion.
The Amazon founder has used equity sales to fund rocket company Blue Origin, while he’s committed US$10 billion to the “Bezos Earth Fund” to help counter the effects of climate change. He’s also building one of the world’s largest megayachts and has been on a real estate spree. The biggest hit to his wealth came after his divorce from MacKenzie Scott, who received a 4 per cent stake in Amazon as part of the split.