Why did Jeff Bezos recently sell $4.1 billion in Amazon shares, in a single week?
His stake in Amazon.com Inc., the company he founded and serves as CEO, stayed more or less the same over the last 10 years, but like everything else involving Bezos — things have changed.
"Bezos sold 2 million shares, worth $4.1 billion, as part of a pre-arranged trading plan between Jan. 31 and Feb. 6," reports Tom Metcalf at Bloomberg News, citing SEC regulatory filings.
"That's the largest seven-day selldown by any executive tracked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which began in 2012."
Excerpt from the Bloomberg News piece:
WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum sold $4 billion of Facebook Inc. shares in 2016, but that took months. Laurene Powell Jobs divested more than $6 billion of Walt Disney Co. shares in 2016, though it wasn't part of a trading plan.
For Bezos, it's a sharp reversal from years of relative restraint even as the value of his Amazon stake eclipsed 12 figures in 2017.
His increased pace of sales this year might be a result of his 2019 split from MacKenzie Bezos. The pair divorced in the state of Washington, where Amazon is based and the couple lived. It's a community property state, meaning all assets and debt acquired during a marriage "will be divided equitably by the court if the couple cannot negotiate an agreement," according to the website of McKinley Irvin, a family law firm in the region.
Jeff Bezos's Record $4.1 Billion Sale Ends Years of Restraint
[bloomberg.com, reporting Tom Metcalf, February 11, 2020]