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Bezos Has Dumped Over $16.6 Billion of Amazon Stock Over the Last 17 Months – That’s More than He Sold Over the Prior Decade. Should Shareholders Worry?

Courtesy of Pam Martens

Jeff Bezos Plans to Take a Flight into Space After Stepping Down on July 5 as Amazon CEO

Jeff Bezos Plans to Take a Flight into Space After Stepping Down on July 5 as Amazon CEO

Jeff Bezos, the founder and man at the helm of Amazon for the past 27 years, announced last month that he will be stepping down as CEO on July 5. Fifteen days later, according to Bezos, he and his brother Mark will take off on the first crewed space flight from his rocket company, Blue Origin. (Another seat on the flight has been auctioned online for $28 million. The winner has not yet been named.)

Following on the heels of Bezos’ 2019 announcement of his divorce to his wife of a quarter of a century, MacKenzie Bezos, and tabloid headlines over his accusations of attempted extortion and blackmail by the National Inquirer over Bezos salacious texts to his girlfriend, shareholders were likely becoming eager for Bezos to hop aboard that spacecraft.

What shareholders were apparently not thinking about was what was going to happen to Bezos’ 51.2 million shares of Amazon stock (valued at a cool $173 billion at yesterday’s close) when he was no longer constrained as an active member of management. (The Amazon Board plans to hand the CEO reins to Amazon Web Services CEO, Andy Jassy. Bezos is expected to stay on as Executive Chairman of the company.)

Shareholders got a taste of the potential fallout last month when Bezos dumped $6.6 billion of his shares. The first of the sales came on Monday, May 3, just one trading session after the stock hit an all time intraday high of $3,554 on April 30.

If one adds the tally of Bezos’ Amazon stock sales in May to the more than $10 billion he dumped in 2020, that’s a tidy $16.6 billion divestiture in less than a year and a half. Adding to the angst for shareholders, that $16.6 billion is more than the tally of Bezos’ total stock sales over the previous 10 year span.



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