Jeff Bezos filed a statement with federal regulators indicating his sale of nearly 12 million shares of Amazon stock worth more than $2 billion. The Amazon executive chairman notified the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of the sale of 11,997,698 shares of common stock on Feb. 7 and Feb. 8. The collective value of the shares of Amazon, which is based in Seattle where he founded the company in a garage about three decades ago, was more than $2.04 billion, according to the listed price totals. Read: US-Bangla Airlines welcomes first Airbus, another Boeing to expanding fleet The stocks were grouped in five blocks between 1 million and more than 3.2 million. In a separate SEC filing, Bezos listed the proposed sale of 50 million Amazon shares around Feb. 7 with an estimated market value of $8.4 billion. Bezos stepped down as Amazon's CEO in 2021 to spend more time on his other projects, including the rocket company, Blue Origin, and his philanthropy. His address on the stock filings is listed as Seattle, although he reportedly has relocated to Miami. Read more: February 2024 Amazon Prime Originals: Most-Hyped Shows, Series, and Movies
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said he will give away the majority of his wealth during his lifetime, becoming the latest billionaire to pledge to donate much of his vast fortune. Bezos, whose “real-time” worth Forbes magazine estimates at roughly $124.1 billion, made the announcement in a joint CNN interview with his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez that was released on Monday. The billionaire didn’t specify how - or to whom - he will give away the money, but said the couple were building the “capacity” to do it. “The hard part is figuring out how to do it in a levered way,” Bezos said during the interview. “It’s not easy. Building Amazon was not easy. It took a lot of hard work and very smart teammates. And I’m finding - and Lauren’s finding - that philanthropy is very similar. It’s not easy. It’s really hard.” Read: Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List: India’s Gautam Adani overtakes Jeff Bezos again Bezos had been criticized in the past for not signing the Giving Pledge, the campaign launched by Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates and Warren Buffet to encourage billionaires to donate the majority of their wealth through philanthropy. His ex-wife McKenzie Scott signed that pledge in 2019 and has since emerged as a formidable force in the world of philanthropy, showering charities throughout the country with unexpected - and often secretive - contributions. In the past three years, she’s given more than $12 billion to historically Black colleges and universities, women’s rights group and other nonprofits. Bezos, who divorced from Scott in 2019, stepped down as Amazon CEO last year to devote more time to philanthropy and other projects. Among other donations, he’s pledged $10 billion to fight climate change as part of his Bezos Earth Fund initiative. Last year, he gave $510.7 million to charity, according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Read: 3 Bangladeshi companies on Forbes list On Saturday, Bezos and Sanchez announced they will give a no-strings-attached $100 million grant to singer Dolly Parton, who’s been praised for her philanthropic work that helped create the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19. Bezos had given a similar grant to chef José Andrés and CNN commentator Van Jones last year.
Indian tycoon Gautam Adani’s wealth increased after stocks gained for two weeks in a row and outpaced Wall Street shares. As a result, he now occupies the third position on Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires List, surpassing Amazon founder Jeff Bezos once more. NDTV reported that Gautam Adani’s wealth increased by $314 million on Monday (October 31, 2022), bringing it to $131.9 billion – making him the third richest person in the world according to Forbes, after Bernard Arnault of Louis Vuitton, who maintains the second slot with a net worth of $156.5 billion. After Amazon predicted dismal holiday sales last Thursday (October 27, 2022), sending shares of the largest retailer in the world tumbling in after-hours trade, the Forbes list also showed a dramatic decline in Jeff Bezos' fortune. Read more: Forbes Highest-paid Footballers 2022: Mbappe overtakes Messi, Ronaldo Although Adani surpassed Jeff Bezos, whose net worth was $126.9 billion, the rankings on the Forbes list have been fluctuating recently, echoing the turmoil in the larger global stock markets, with gains and losses. Gautam Adani, Bernard Arnault, and Jeff Bezos have had readings similar to a musical chairs game for the second, third, and fourth richest spots in recent weeks, but Elon Musk has kept far ahead and is the world’s richest, with a net worth of $223.8 billion. The NDTV reports adds that Gautam Adani’s company would spend more than $150 billion in sectors including renewable energy, data centres, airports, and healthcare as it strives to join the exclusive club of corporations with $1 trillion valuation. Read more: 3 Bangladeshi companies on Forbes list
Jeff Bezos blasted into space Tuesday on his rocket company’s first flight with people on board, becoming the second billionaire in just over a week to ride his own spacecraft. The Amazon founder was accompanied by a hand-picked group: his brother, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands and an 82-year-old aviation pioneer from Texas — the youngest and oldest to ever fly in space. Named after America’s first astronaut, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket soared from remote West Texas on the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, a date chosen by Bezos for its historical significance. He held fast to it, even as Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson pushed up his own flight from New Mexico in the race for space tourist dollars and beat him to space by nine days. Unlike Branson’s piloted rocket plane, Bezos’ capsule was completely automated and required no official staff on board for the anticipated 10-minute, up-and-down flight. Blue Origin was shooting for an altitude of roughly 66 miles (106 kilometers), more than 10 miles (16 kilometers) higher than Branson’s July 11 ride. The 60-foot (18-meter) booster accelerated to Mach 3 or three times the speed of sound to get the capsule high enough, before separating and aiming for a vertical landing. The passengers were expected to get three to four minutes of weightlessness to float around the spacious white capsule. Then the window-filled capsule was going to head to a parachute touchdown on the desert floor, with Bezos and his guests briefly experiencing nearly six times the force of gravity, or 6 G’s, on the way back. Read: Bezos' Blue Origin gets OK to send him, 3 others to space Sharing Bezos’ dream-come-true adventure was Wally Funk, from the Dallas area, one of 13 female pilots who went through the same tests as NASA’s all-male astronaut corps in the early 1960s but never made it into space. Joining them on the ultimate joyride was the company’s first paying customer, Oliver Daemen, a last-minute fill-in for the mystery winner of a $28 million auction who opted for a later flight. The Dutch teen’s father took part in the auction, and agreed on a lower undisclosed price last week when Blue Origin offered his son the vacated seat. Blue Origin — founded by Bezos in 2000 in Kent, Washington, near Amazon’s Seattle headquarters — has yet to open ticket sales to the public or reveal the price. For now, it’s booking auction bidders. Two more passenger flights are planned by year’s end, said Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith. The recycled rocket and capsule that carried up Tuesday’s passengers were used on the last two space demos, according to company officials. Virgin Galactic already has more than 600 reservations at $250,000 apiece. Founded by Branson in 2004, the company has sent crew into space four times and plans two more test flights from New Mexico before launching customers next year. Blue Origin’s approach was slower and more deliberate. After 15 successful unoccupied test flights to space since 2015, Bezos finally declared it was time to put people on board. The Federal Aviation Administration agreed last week, approving the commercial space license. Bezos, 57, who also owns The Washington Post, claimed the first seat. The next went to his 50-year-old brother, Mark Bezos, an investor and volunteer firefighter, then Funk and Daemen. They spent two days together in training. University of Chicago space historian Jordan Bimm said the passenger makeup is truly remarkable. Imagine if the head of NASA decided he wanted to launch in 1961 instead of Alan Shepard on the first U.S. spaceflight, he said in an email. Read: Richard Branson announces trip to space, ahead of Jeff Bezos “That would have been unthinkable!” Bimm said. “”It shows just how much the idea of who and what space is for has changed in the last 60 years.” Bezos stepped down earlier this month as Amazon’s CEO and just last week donated $200 million to renovate the National Air and Space Museum. Most of the $28 million from the auction has been distributed to space advocacy and education groups, with the rest benefiting Blue Origin’s Club for the Future, its own education effort. Fewer than 600 people have reached the edge of space or beyond. Until Tuesday, the youngest was 25-year-old Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov and the oldest at 77 was Mercury-turned-shuttle astronaut John Glenn. Both Bezos and Branson want to drastically increase those overall numbers, as does SpaceX’s Elon Musk, who’s skipping brief space hops and sending his private clients straight to orbit for tens of millions apiece, with the first flight coming up in September. Despite appearances, Bezos and Branson insist they weren’t trying to outdo each other by strapping in themselves. Bezos noted this week that only one person can lay claim to being first in space: Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, who rocketed into orbit on April 12, 1961. “This isn’t a competition, this is about building a road to space so that future generations can do incredible things in space,” he said on NBC’s ”Today.” Blue Origin is working on a massive rocket, New Glenn, to put payloads and people into orbit from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The company also wants to put astronauts back on the moon with its proposed lunar lander Blue Moon; it’s challenging NASA’s sole contract award to SpaceX.
An 18-year-old is about to become the youngest person in space, rocketing away with an aviation pioneer who will become the oldest at age 82. Blue Origin announced Thursday that instead of a $28 million auction winner launching with founder Jeff Bezos on Tuesday, the Dutch son of another bidder will be on board. The company said Oliver Daemen will be the first paying customer, but did not disclose the price of his ticket. But a family spokesperson said it will be considerably less than the winning bid. Daemen snagged the fourth and last seat on the space capsule after the auction winner stepped aside because of a scheduling conflict. The offer came in a surprise phone call from Blue Origin last week, he said. Also read: Bezos' Blue Origin gets OK to send him, 3 others to space “This is so unbelievably cool!” Daemen said in a statement. “The flight to and into space only takes 10 minutes, but I already know that these will be the most special 10 minutes of my life.” He added in a video posted by Dutch broadcaster RTL: “I am super excited to experience zero-g and see the world from above.” Also on Blue Origin’s first launch with passengers: Bezos’ brother and Wally Funk, one of 13 female pilots who went through the same tests in the early 1960s as NASA’s Mercury 7 astronauts but never made it into space because only men were allowed. The four will blast off from West Texas atop a New Shepard rocket for a 10-minute flight. The Amazon founder will become the second person to ride his own rocket into space, following Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson by nine days. The teen tourist was going to be on the second launch for paying customers, according to Blue Origin. But once the auction winner dropped out, the company seized on the idea of flying the oldest and youngest people in space on the same flight, the family spokesperson noted. Also read: Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson flying own rocket to space His undisclosed ticket cost will be donated to charity, just as most of the winning $28 million was distributed this week to a variety of space education and advocacy groups. “This marks the beginning of commercial operations for New Shepard, and Oliver represents a new generation of people who will help us build a road to space,” Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith said in a statement. Blue Origin has yet to open ticket sales to the public or disclose its anticipated prices. That’s expected following the upcoming flight. Daemen took a year off after graduating from high school last year to obtain his private pilot’s license. He’ll attend the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands in September. His father is Joes Daemen, founder and CEO of Somerset Capital Partners, a private equity firm in Oisterwijk, Netherlands. Both father and son were on their way to Texas on Thursday to prepare for the launch, according to their spokesperson.. The elder Daemen said he bid on the seat during the June 12 auction. “But when the bids started to skyrocket during the auction, we dropped out,” he said in a statement. Blue Origin said the unidentified auction winner will catch a future flight. Daemen already has gotten some good space-traveling advice from Dutch astronaut and two-time space flier Andre Kuipers. According to the statement, Kuipers told him “not to make the classic mistake of taking pictures in the short time he is up, but to fully enjoy the view of our beautiful planet.” Soviet cosmonaut Ghermon Titov holds the record for the youngest to fly in space. He was 25 when he blasted into orbit four months after Yuri Gagarin, the first person in space. John Glenn was 77 when he launched aboard space shuttle Discovery in 1998, 37 years after becoming the first American to orbit the world.
The Pentagon said it canceled a disputed cloud-computing contract with Microsoft that could eventually have been worth $10 billion. It will instead pursue a deal with both Microsoft and Amazon and possibly other cloud service providers. “With the shifting technology environment, it has become clear that the JEDI Cloud contract, which has long been delayed, no longer meets the requirements to fill the DoD’s capability gaps,” the Pentagon said in a statement Tuesday. The statement did not directly mention that the Pentagon faced extended legal challenges by Amazon to the original $1 million contract awarded to Microsoft. Amazon argued that the Microsoft award was tainted by politics, particularly then-President Donald Trump’s antagonism toward Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, who stepped down Monday as the company’s chief executive officer. Bezos owns The Washington Post, a newspaper often criticized by Trump. The Pentagon’s chief information officer, John Sherman, told reporters Tuesday that during the lengthy legal fight with Amazon, “the landscape has evolved” with new possibilities for large-scale cloud computing services. Thus it was decided, he said, to start over and seek multiple vendors. Read:Microsoft unveils Windows 11 operating system Sherman said JEDI will be replaced by a new program called Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability, and that both Amazon and Microsoft “likely” will be awarded parts of the business, although neither is guaranteed. Sherman said the three other large cloud service providers — Google, IBM and Oracle — might qualify, too. Microsoft said in response to the Pentagon announcement, “We understand the DoD s rationale, and we support them and every military member who needs the mission-critical 21st century technology JEDI would have provided. The DoD faced a difficult choice: Continue with what could be a years-long litigation battle or find another path forward.” Amazon said it understands and agrees with the Pentagon’s decision. In a statement, the company reiterated its view that the 2019 contract award was not based on the merits of the competing proposals “and instead was the result of outside influence that has no place in government procurement.” Oracle, which had earlier sought the JEDI contact but didn’t make it to the final round, declined comment Tuesday. In separate statements, IBM said it was evaluating the new Pentagon approach and Google said it looked forward to discussing it with Pentagon officials. Read: Sanctioned Russian IT firm was partner with Microsoft, IBM The JEDI project began with the $1 million contract award for Microsoft, meant as an initial step in a 10-year deal that could have reached $10 billion in value. The project that will replace it is a five-year program; Sherman said no exact contract value has been set but that it will be “in the billions.” Sherman said the government will negotiate the amount Microsoft will be paid for having its 2019 deal terminated. Amazon Web Services, a market leader in providing cloud computing services, had long been considered a leading candidate to run the Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure project, known as JEDI. The project was meant to store and process vast amounts of classified data, allowing the U.S. military to improve communications with soldiers on the battlefield and use artificial intelligence to speed up its war planning and fighting capabilities. The JEDI contract became mired in legal challenges almost as soon as it was awarded to Microsoft in October 2019. The losing bidder, Amazon Web Services, went to court arguing that the Pentagon’s process was flawed and unfair, including that it was improperly influenced by politics. This year the Pentagon had been hinting that it might scrap the contract, saying in May that it felt compelled to reconsider its options after a federal judge in April rejected a Pentagon move to have key parts of Amazon’s lawsuit dismissed. Read:Microsoft buying speech recognition firm Nuance in $16B deal The JEDI saga has been unusual for the political dimension linked to Trump. In April 2020, the Defense Department inspector general’s office concluded that the contracting process was in line with legal and government purchasing standards. The inspector general found no evidence of White House interference in the contract award process, but that review also said investigators could not fully review the matter because the White House would not allow unfettered access to witnesses. Five months later, the Pentagon reaffirmed Microsoft as winner of the contract, but work remained stalled by Amazon’s legal challenge. In its April 2020 report, the inspector general’s office did not draw a conclusion about whether the Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft Corp. was appropriately declared the winner. Rather, it looked at whether the decision-making process was proper and legal. It also examined allegations of unethical behavior by Pentagon officials involved in the matter and generally determined that any ethical lapses did not influence the outcome. That review did not find evidence of White House pressure for the Pentagon to favor the Microsoft bid, but it also said it could not definitely determine the full extent of White House interactions with the Pentagon’s decision makers.
Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson is aiming to beat fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos into space by nine days. Branson’s company announced Thursday evening that its next test flight will be July 11 and that its founder will be among the six people on board. The winged rocket ship will soar from New Mexico — the first carrying a full crew of company employees. It will be only the fourth trip to space for Virgin Galactic. The news came just hours after Bezos’ Blue Origin said Bezos would be accompanied into space on July 20 by a female aerospace pioneer who’s waited 60 years to rocket away. Also read: Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit reaches space on 2nd try Bezos chose July 20 as his West Texas launch date — the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. He assigned himself to the flight just a month ago, the final stretch in a yearslong race to space between the two rich rocketeers. Amazon’s founder will be on Blue Origin’s debut launch with people on board, accompanied by his brother, the winner of a $28 million charity auction and Wally Funk, one of the last surviving members of the Mercury 13 who was chosen as his “honored guest.” The 13 female pilots passed the same tests as NASA’s original Mercury 7 astronauts back in the early 1960s, but were barred from the corps — and spaceflight — because they were women. As late as Wednesday, Branson declined to say when he would ride into space because of restrictions placed on him by his publicly traded company. But he stressed he was “fit and healthy” to fly as soon as his engineers give him the go. “I’ve always been a dreamer. My mum taught me to never give up and to reach for the stars. On July 11, it’s time to turn that dream into a reality aboard the next @VirginGalactic,” he said via Twitter. Virgin Galactic launches its rocket ship from an aircraft, reaching an altitude of roughly 55 miles (88 kilometers). Blue Origin launches its New Shepard rocket from the ground, with its capsule soaring to about 66 miles (106 kilometers). Both those heights are considered the edge of space. By comparison, Elon Musk’s SpaceX launches its capsules — both crew and cargo — into orbit around Earth. Also read: Jeff Bezos will blast into space on rocket s 1st crew flight All three private space companies plan to take paying customers into space. SpaceX will be the first with a private flight coming up in September. Flights by Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin last about 10 minutes, with three or so minutes of weightlessness. But the returns are quite different: Virgin Galactic’s rocket plane glides to a landing on a runway, like NASA’s old space shuttles did, with a pair of pilots in charge. Blue Origin’s automated capsules parachute to the desert floor, similar to how NASA’s Mercury, Gemini and Apollo capsules made ocean splashdowns. Their spaceports are just 200 miles (320 kilometers) apart. Funk, at age 82, will become the oldest person to launch into space when Blue Origin takes its turn. “I’ll love every second of it. Whoooo! Ha-ha. I can hardly wait,” Funk said in an Instagram video posted by Bezos. “Nothing has ever gotten in my way,” she added. “They said, ‘Well, you’re a girl, you can’t do that.’ I said, ’Guess what, doesn’t matter what you are. You can still do it if you want to do it and I like to do things that nobody has ever done.” She’ll beat the late John Glenn, who set a record at age 77 when flying aboard space shuttle Discovery in 1998. Glenn pooh-poohed the idea of women flying in space, shortly after he became the first American to orbit the world in 1962. “No one has waited longer,” Bezos said via Instagram. “It’s time. Welcome to the crew, Wally.” Bezos is stepping down as Amazon’s CEO on Monday. Also read: Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, will step down as CEO Blue Origin has yet to announce ticket prices or when the public might strap into the spacious six-seat capsule. Its New Shepard rocket is named for Alan Shepard, the first American in space. Virgin Galactic has more than 600 reservations in the pipeline. These original tickets went for $250,000. The company will start accepting more following the upcoming flight with Branson. Keen to get to space, Funk reserved a seat years ago. Virgin Galactic plans three more test flights before taking up customers, Branson was initially supposed to be on the second demo coming up, but moved it up in an apparent bid to outdo Bezos. He said Wednesday, after his other company Virgin Orbit launched a batch of satellites, that it’s important for his customers to see him ride his rocket ship first, before they climb on board.
The phone of Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos was hacked after receiving a file sent from an account used by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, United Nations experts said Wednesday.