Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Completes $8.5bn Share Sale Plan

Multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos has sold another 14 million Amazon shares, worth around $2.4bn (£1.9bn).

Jeff Bezos, the founder and executive chair of Amazon, has finalized a significant share sale plan, further cementing his position as one of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Over the course of the last nine trading days, Bezos has divested approximately 50 million Amazon shares, totaling a staggering $8.5bn in value.

This latest transaction, involving the sale of 14 million shares valued at around $2.4bn, adds to Bezos’s recent flurry of divestments. Notably, Amazon’s stock has experienced a remarkable surge, escalating by over 76% in the past year, propelling Bezos’s divestment strategy to new heights.

The tech magnate’s decision to offload Amazon shares aligns with the company’s prior announcement that Bezos intended to sell up to 50 million shares by January 2025. This move marks Bezos’s first substantial sale of Amazon stock since 2021, although he has previously distributed shares as part of his philanthropic endeavors, with the most recent occurrence in 2022.

Bezos’s relocation from Seattle, Washington, to Miami, Florida, last year carries significant financial implications, particularly in terms of tax savings. By shifting his residency to Florida, Bezos stands to save nearly $600m in state taxes on the $8.5bn worth of stock he has divested. Notably, Florida’s absence of state taxes on incomes or capital gains provides a favorable financial landscape for high-net-worth individuals like Bezos.

However, despite the relocation’s tax advantages, Bezos remains subject to federal taxes stemming from the share sales. Speculation surrounding Bezos’s move to Florida has emerged, with some suggesting it may be motivated by potential tax liabilities in Washington following the state’s approval of a new tax on significant stock sales.

Bezos addressed his relocation in November, citing familial reasons and his Blue Origin space project’s proximity to Cape Canaveral as primary factors. Expressing his fondness for Miami alongside his fiancée Lauren Sánchez, Bezos emphasized his intention to return to Miami, bidding farewell to the Pacific Northwest where Amazon was originally headquartered.

With an estimated fortune exceeding $190bn, Bezos retains his status as Amazon’s largest shareholder and one of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Despite repeated attempts, Amazon has not yet provided comment on Bezos’s recent share sales.

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