Amazon founder and outgoing CEO Jeff Bezos, the richest person in the world, sold $2.5 billion worth of Amazon shares on Monday and Tuesday, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Accounting for taxes, Bezos will net $1.9 billion, Forbes estimates.
Bezos’ is now worth an estimated $192.6 billion, meaning that the e-commerce tycoon keeps his spot as No. 1 richest, ahead of LVMH’s Bernard Arnault and Tesla’s Elon Musk.
The transactions mark the first time Bezos has sold Amazon shares this year, though he is known to regularly cash in at least $1 billion from stock sales annually. Last year, he sold more than $10 billion of his Amazon stock across three batches of sales in February, August and November.
In total, Bezos sold nearly 740,000 shares of Amazon this week at stock prices ranging from $3,274 to $3,485 per share, according to six new documents filed with the SEC on Wednesday evening. The transactions are part of a predetermined plan to offload company stock, according to the filings. That leaves Bezos owning close to 52.5 million shares of Amazon, a 10.4% stake in the company.
He told reporters in 2017 that he had been selling $1 billion worth of shares per year to bankroll Blue Origin, the space exploration company he created. It’s not clear if the sales this week are also intended to fund Blue Origin, which today began an auction for one seat on its first commercial flight, currently scheduled for July 20.
Earlier this year, Bezos announced in a letter to employees that he would step down as CEO before the end of 2021. As part of the announcement, he said he would shift his focus to his other businesses, including Blue Origin and The Washington Post, and philanthropic efforts such as the Day 1 Fund and his Bezos Earth Fund, a $10 billion commitment to fight climate change.
A representative for Bezos did not respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.