Co-founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has for the second successive month sold billions of dollars worth of Amazon shares.

By Ian Horswill

Posted on August 6, 2019

Jeff Bezos sold almost US$3 billion in Amazon stock in five days last week, in what is being tipped as the co-founder and CEO’s biggest ever sale of shares in dollar terms.

Bezos, ranked by Forbes as the world’s richest person with $110.1 billion, told journalists at a space exploration conference in 2017 that he planned to sell about US$1bn worth of Amazon stock annually to fund Blue Origin, his rocket ship venture that is targeting its first crewed space flight this year. Bezos pledged US$2bn to launch a charity focused on early childhood education and homeless families last year.

Regulatory filings published on Monday did not give a reason for the sale. Amazon declined to comment beyond the filings, Financial Times reported.

According to the filings, Bezos sold nearly 532,000 shares on August 1 and 2 at prices ranging between US$1,800 and US$1,900 a share, worth about US$990m. He also donated 268 shares to an unnamed non-profit organisation.

The sale of shares came after the disclosed sale of more than 950,000 shares between July 29 and July 31 for around US$1,900 a share, for a total of about US$1.8bn.

Bezos has invested in Airbnb, healthcare company Grail, Whole Foods, Twitter, and Uber. In 2013, he bought The Washington Post for US$250 million. He is also one of the biggest landowners in the US. Bezos owns a 5.3-acre estate in Medina, Washington, valued at US$25 million, a former textile museum turned townhouse in Washington DC that cost US$23 million, and three apartments in New York City amounting to a total value of US$17 million. He also owns a US$25 million mansion in Beverly Hills and bought a US $12.9 million four-bedroom property next door, last month. His property portfolio also includes a 30,000-acre ranch in Texas, which is the base for Blue Origin.

Bezos’s remaining 12 per cent stake in Amazon is worth around US$102bn at Monday’s closing price of US$1,765.13 per share.

Amazon shares are up about 20% since the beginning of the year.