Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos sold $2.4 billion worth of Amazon stock this week, with just months to go before he steps down as CEO in the summer.
The world’s richest man, according to Forbes, sold between Monday and Tuesday of this week 739,000 shares in the e-commerce company, public documents filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) show.
The Amazon shares sold represent only a small fraction of the total Bezos still controls, estimated at 52.4 million shares, representing more than 10% of the company’s ownership.
According to Forbes, Bezos’ fortune is $177 billion, almost all of which (more than $170 billion) is made up of Amazon shares.
The coronavirus pandemic and the resulting restrictions on mobility and economic activity have boosted e-commerce sales worldwide, which in turn has boosted Amazon’s profits to triple the figures of just a year ago.
At the same time, the firm’s stock market value has nearly doubled, further boosting its founder’s immense fortune.
On Thursday morning, each Amazon share was trading at $3,303.49 on Wall Street, up 1% from Wednesday’s close.
Earlier this year, Bezos announced that he will step down as CEO in the summer and will be replaced by the executive Andy Jassy, a man who has been at the helm of the lucrative Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing business for the past several years.
The company’s founder will then become executive chairman, a position from which he will continue to influence the company’s decision-making, but will not be as present in the day-to-day business and will have more time to, as he himself indicated, focus on philanthropic initiatives and the management of his other companies: Blue Origin and the progressive newspaper The Washington Post.