Earlier this week, while Bezos was in Glasgow at the COP26 climate summit, he sold more than $2 billion worth of Amazon shares. The sale came as Bezos, the world’s second richest person, promised in a speech at the summit that he will spend $2 billion from his Earth Fund on restoring nature and transforming food systems.
“We must conserve what we still have, we must restore what we’ve lost, and we must grow what we need to live without degrading the planet for future generations to come,” Bezos said during his talk in Glasgow.
The sale, after accounting for capital gains taxes Bezos likely owes, barely changes his net worth. As of midday Thursday, Bezos is worth $199.4 billion, Forbes estimates. He trails the number one richest, Elon Musk (worth an estimated $317 billion), by about $118 billion.
Bezos has sold more than $8.8 billion worth of Amazon stock this year. Since taking Amazon public in 1998, the founder of the e-commerce giant has sold some $29 billion worth of Amazon shares, Forbes calculates; his stake in the company has gone from 42% in 1997 to just under 10% currently. Last year he unloaded $10 billion worth of his Amazon stake.
In July, Bezos gave up the role of Amazon CEO but has stayed on as the company’s chairman. Since then he’s shifted his focus to his rocket company, Blue Origin, and has made several announcements about philanthropic gifts. In September he announced a $1 billion pledge toward conservation efforts.
Amazon stock has more than doubled in value since the beginning of 2019; it’s risen about 6% since early January 2021.
A spokesperson for Jeff Bezos at Amazon declined to comment regarding the share sales.