Jeff Bezos just parted with $2 billion worth of Amazon shares

Billionaires

The world’s third-richest person sold some of his Amazon stock for the first time in more than two years.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos filed a trading plan in November to sell up to 50 million Amazon shares before January 31, 2025. MICHAEL PRINCE/THE FORBES COLLECTION

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and the world’s third-richest person, sold $2 billion worth of Amazon stock over the course of Wednesday and Thursday this week, according to a regulatory filing published Friday.

Bezos, who is worth $196 billion, is selling stock for the first time in more than two years—and not long after he registered to vote in tax-friendly Florida and announced his move to Miami.

Although Bezos stepped down from his CEO post at Amazon two years ago, he is still the company’s chairman and its largest individual shareholder, with 9.4% of the stock.

He sold nearly 12 million shares—a bit over 1% of his 976 million shares in the e-commerce and cloud computing company. The sale also coincides with a two-year high for Amazon’s share price, beating out its value around the time Bezos last sold shares.

In November, Jeff Bezos filed a trading plan to sell 50 million shares, which represent more than 5% of his shareholding, by January 31, 2025, according to an Amazon regulatory filing from last week.

According to another filing from Wednesday, the “approximate transaction date” to sell all 50 million shares was February 7. It’s possible that Bezos sold more shares on February 8 and 9, and that new filing showings those sales will be filed early next week.

Since Amazon went public in 1997, Bezos has given away about $4.7 billion worth of Amazon shares and sold $32 billion worth of the company’s stock. The transactions slashed his ownership stake in the e-commerce giant from 42% to a current 9.4%.

Bezos’ ex-wife MacKenzie Scott—who received a quarter of Bezos’ Amazon stake in their 2019 divorce and whose shares are still listed under Bezos’ name in Amazon filings—has similarly cut down her Amazon stake, offloading 61 million shares worth $10 billion in 2023.

Representatives for Jeff Bezos did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the stock sale, what Bezos is planning to use it for and whether its timing had to do with his move to Florida and its lack of a state-level capital gains tax.

In the past, Bezos has poured ample cash, presumably from his Amazon stock sales, into his space company Blue Origin. An analyst from Space Capital estimates that Bezos has invested nearly $11 billion as of mid-2023.

He’s also ramped up both his philanthropy and his splashy real estate purchases over the last few years.

Jeff Bezos donated some half a billion dollars in 2023, largely to climate initiatives through his Bezos Earth Fund (some $200 million) and towards families experiencing homelessness ($120 million). Bezos has also expanded his collection of personal homes within the last four years.

Last fall, he made headlines for his purchases of two homes for a combined $150 million in Indian Creek, an exclusive Florida community in Miami-Dade County.

Prior to that, he also purchased, for a reported $78 million, a home in Maui in 2021 and Beverly Hills’ nine-acre Warner Estate for $165 million, reportedly the largest private residence sale in California at the time.

This article was first published on forbes.com and all figures are in USD.

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