What just happened? Jeff Bezos, the world's richest man and alleged supervillain, steps down as CEO of Amazon today, exactly 27 years after he founded it. Fifty-seven-year-old Bezos shouldn't struggle to afford various pastimes now his involvement with the company has lessened—he has an estimated fortune of $203 billion.
It was back in February when Bezos announced he would be stepping down as CEO of Amazon in the third quarter of 2021, becoming the Executive Chair of the company's Board of Directors as Andy Jassy takes on the chief executive role.
Bezos is retiring as CEO to dedicate more time to his other ventures, including the Bezos Earth Fund, The Washington Post, the Amazon Day 1 Fund, and his Blue Origin space company.
Why that July 5 for Jassy to takeover?— Deirdre Bosa (@dee_bosa) May 26, 2021
Bezos: "We chose that date because it's sentimental for me, the day Amazon was incorporated in 1994, exactly 27 years ago."
Bezos received a $81,840 salary and $1.6 million in other compensation from Amazon last year, with most of his wealth coming from Amazon holdings and other assets. His fortune is 762,012 times the median net worth of an American at 65, which is the average retirement age in the US. The median net worth of people in that age bracket is $266,400, according to Business Insider.
As with most tech companies, Amazon has seen its bottom line and share price rocket during the pandemic, pushing Bezos' fortune even higher. The company that he started in his garage almost three decades ago has a market cap of $1.7 trillion and made $386 billion in revenue last year.
He may be praised for his business acumen, but Bezos isn't the most loved billionaire. He will be traveling to space for Blue Origin's first space tourism trip on July 20 with his brother Mark and other passengers, leading to a petition demanding he not be allowed back to Earth. The Change.org site is currently just under 2,000 signatures short of its 150,000 target.
Something else that won't have helped endear Bezos to the public is a recent report that shows he paid no tax in 2007 and 2011 and even claimed and received a $4,000 tax credit for his children. There was also his divorce from wife MacKenzie, which had some sordid details, and Amazon's reputation for not being the best place to work.