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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sold almost $2.5 billion worth of shares in the company this week as his departure in the third quarter of the year approaches.
The Amazon founder sold just over 739,000 shares in the company on Monday and Tuesday as part of a pre-arranged trading plan, according to securities filings.
Bezos, who is the richest person in the world with a net worth of $191 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, made just under $2.5 billion on the sale and he still owns over 52.4 million shares, or about 10.5 percent, of the company.
That brings the value of his remaining stake in the company to about $171.5 billion.
Bloomberg reported that another filing indicates he plans to sell as many as 2 million shares under the plan. It’s unclear over what time frame the sales would take place.
This week’s sale marks Bezos’ first dump of Amazon stock in 2021. He sold more than $10 billion worth of shares last year.
Bezos has committed $10 billion of his personal wealth to the “Bezos Earth Fund,” which aims to combat climate change. The billionaire also announced in 2017 that he would be selling at least $1 billion worth of stock each year to fund his rocket company Blue Origin, which announced Wednesday it will launch its first crew to space this summer.
“The price of admission to space is very high,” Bezos said at a 2018 awards dinner. “I’m in the process of converting my Amazon lottery winnings into a much lower price of admission so we can go explore the solar system.”
Bezos’ Blue Origin has been locked in heated space race with fellow billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Last week, Blue Origin officially challenged NASA’s decision to award a $2.9 billion contract to SpaceX, prompting Musk to muse on Twitter, “Can’t get it up (to orbit) lol.”
That appears to be a reference to the fact that Blue Origin has not yet achieved orbit with any of its rockets.
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