Considered one of the most successful and influential CEOs of his time or the worst boss in the world, Jeff Bezos is one of the richest people in the world according to the Bloomberg billionaire index. Let’s take a look back at his journey, his career and his fortune!
Jeff Bezos: origins and studies
The story of Jeff Bezos, born Jeffrey Preston Jorgensen, begins on January 12, 1964, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Abandoned by his biological father, he will be adopted by his mother’s new husband, Miguel Bezos. Jeff Bezos is a gifted child, with a very high IQ. Curious, intelligent, ingenious, Jeff Bezos wants to change the world by building breakthrough technologies and making big bucks.
At the end of his adolescence, Jeff Bezos left New Mexico and went to study physics at the University of Florida. He receives the Silver Knight Award, which recognizes the best students in South Florida. In 1982, he is received at the prestigious University of Prinston. In particular, he studied electrical engineering and computer science. He graduated 4 years later, at 22.
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Jeff Bezos: from finance to Amazon via Blue Origin
After his studies, Jeff Bezos started his career in financedespite his passion for computers. In 1990, he joined DE Shaw & Co.a New York investment fund. In less than 4 years, he became Vice-President of the fundeven before his 30th birthday. He will recruit there as assistant MacKenzie Scott Tuttlea literature student, who would become his wife in 1993. As a financial analyst, he witnessed a phenomenon that caught his attention: the rise of the web.
After several reflections with his wife, they decide to found Amazon.com in Seattle, with the aim of creating the largest bookstore in the world.
To carry out this project, the couple needs funding. For that, Jeff Bezos appeals to his parentswho will be the company’s first investors. They invest about $250,000 in it.. The company’s first headquarters, like Google, Apple, Microsoft, is in the Bezos’ garage. The Amazon.com site was officially launched on July 16, 1995.. It is a book selling site ready to deliver books all over the United States and even beyond.
Knowing a rapid success, Jeff Bezos wants to diversify his activity to go even further. Amazon now offers other items for sale: CDs, radios, household appliances, etc. Amazon goes public in 1997. Bezos’ bet is a clear success. Time magazine will name him person of the year for his contribution to digital in 1999.
In 2005, Jeff Bezos innovates again by launching Amazon Prime : the customer pays an annual subscription in exchange for free and always faster deliveries. The same year, its teams work on Amazon Web Services : Amazon rents servers to other companies like Netflix, Twitter or Facebook. It is today the greatest source of wealth for Amazon.
Today, Amazon is part of the very closed club of the most powerful companies in the world, the GAFAM.
Despite a worldwide success, gradually, Amazon employees are starting to complain about the working conditions on site. He will be elected in 2014 “worst boss in the world” by the International Trade Union Confederation (which represents more than 180 million workers).
On July 5, 2021, Jeff Bezos resigns as CEO of Amazonbut remains the executive chairman of its board of directors.
Amazon isn’t the only company launched by Jeff Bezos. There is also Blue Origin, a company specializing in space travel. The company designs the New Shepard suborbital rocket for space tourism. Bezos takes part in his first manned flighton July 20, 2021, with his brother Mark Bezos, Wally Funk and Oliver Daemen by his side.
From 2010, as with Google, Jeff Bezos multiplies his investments in other companies in the digital sector: Airbnb, Uber etc. He also bought the Washington Post.
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What is the fortune of Jeff Bezos, the former CEO of Amazon?
In 2017, Jeff Bezos was considered the richest man in the world, with an estimated fortune of $100 billion. He remained so for several years, until Elon Musk overtook him.
Today, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, Jeff Bezos is the 4th richest person in the world, with nearly 117 billion dollars. That is 17 billion more than 5 years ago. As for the Forbes ranking, he finds himself ranked 2nd, with a fortune of 171 billion dollars.
While he never pledged to donate his money, Bezos recently changed his mind. Asked by the continuous news channel CNN, the American billionaire replied “yes”, when the journalist asked him if he planned “to donate the majority of [de sa] fortune [de son] alive “.
This is the first time that the 58-year-old businessman has made such a commitment publicly. Indeed, he never signed the “Pledge of donation”, an initiative launched in 2010 by the Americans Warren Buffett and Bill Gates which encourages billionaires to give more than half of their wealth to charities.
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