Jeff Bezos is Still the Richest Man Even After Selling His SharesJuly 23, 2020
Divorce can be tough for most people, and at times it ends up bankrupting an individual. Not Jeff Bezos. Bezos, who got divorced from his wife last year, agreed to settle for a 4% stake to his ex-wife Mackenzie Bezos as a divorce settlement. By surrendering at least $10 billion worth of shares to her, she ranks as the tenth richest person at a staggering $37 billion while Bezos still retains his top slot for the richest man alive.
Bezos lost his position last year as Bill Gates toppled him, but Gates didn’t enjoy it for long. Gates took the top position due to his 48% increase in shares, while Amazon dropped by at least 25%. The Bloomberg Index estimates Bezos’ net worth at around $171 billion.
There are only three people with a net worth exceeding $100 billion, and they include Bill Gates, Bezos, and Bernard Arnault, with Gates being worth $113 billion while Arnault comes in at $109 billion. Bezos still gets richer every year as it is estimated that the Amazon founder added $57 billion to his net worth in 2020 alone.
Bezos’s net worth increase comes in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced people to do most of their shopping online to adhere to the social distancing regulations. However, Bezos doesn’t intend to keep all his accumulated profits to himself as he has pledged to make a donation worth $100 million to food banks in the country.
Bezos stated in a statement that his main focus is currently on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that his company is always looking for new ways to help those in need.
Jeff Bezos Journey to Make Amazon the Most Successful Company in Modern History
After Bezos graduated from the prestigious Princeton University, he got job offers at Bell Labs and Intel. His first job was at Fintech Telecommunications, where he was supposed to create a network of international trade. After getting promoted to the director of customer experience, he went into banking and became manager at the Bankers Trust, where he worked for two years until 1990.
Bezos then went ahead to join a new hedge-fund company called D.E Shaw, where he grew to become the company’s fourth senior VP by 30. Towards the end of the year 1993, Bezos decided to quit his job at D.E Shaw to start an online bookstore. Bezos had read online that internet usage had grown by a significant 2300% and decided to jump on the opportunity.
He reportedly compiled a list of about 20 possible items that one could sell online, and he decided that books were it. His parents couldn’t comprehend why anyone would leave their cushy job to start an online bookstore, but they still supported his decision.
They invested about $250 million into his company, a stake that rounds up roughly $30 billion by today’s standards. He initially called the company Cadabra but decided to change it to Amazon in reference to the Amazon River. Before he received any investments, Bezos would reportedly warn investors that there was a high likelihood that the company would fail.
His wife Mackenzie did the books for the company at the time. She also negotiated the first freight deal Amazon ever had. They had meetings at the local bookstore, and during the first month, the company sold several books in America and 45 other different countries.
While Amazon was initially a bookstore, Bezos envisioned a general store for anyone looking for something online. Through his efforts and growth maintenance, Bezos turned Amazon into the one-stop-shop it is today. Amazon officially reported its highest ever profit with earnings bringing in $2 billion.
This announcement made Bezos the wealthiest person in the world with a wealth of over $100 billion surpassing the then richest man Bill Gates. Amazon is today a large entity estimated to be worth $1 trillion with different sub-companies, including Blue Origin, which is a space exploration company.