Jeff Bezos’ net worth is $15.6 billion.
Jeff Bezos is the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), the largest e-commerce site in the world. Bezos paved the way for online shopping, which set the blueprint for other entrepreneurs to follow.
Here are five interesting facts about Bezos.
1. Jeff Bezos’ Net Worth Is $50.8 Billion
Jeff Bezos has a net worth of about $50.8 billion, which makes him the third-richest person in the U.S. and the fifth-richest in the world at the age of 52. (Source: “The World’s Billionaires,” Forbes, last accessed March 4, 2016.)
Bezos’ net worth is tied to his stake in Amazon stock, in which he holds almost 83 million shares. Given his enormous wealth, it’s surprising to learn that his take-home pay is a modest $81,840, which makes him among the lowest paid CEOs at the helm of a large technology company. (Source: “Amazon’s Bezos Among Lowest-Paid Tech CEOs With $81,840 Salary,” Bloomberg, April 12, 2013; http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-04-12/amazon-s-bezos-among-lowest-paid-tech-ceos-with-81-840-salary.)
2. He Started Amazon in His Garage
In 1994, Bezos was the youngest-ever senior vice president at the investment firm D.E. Shaw & Co, where he was reportedly making a six-figure salary. (Source: “Jeff Bezos: The King of E-Commerce,” Entrepreneur, October 10, 2008; http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/197608.)
Bezos got the idea for Amazon while coming across a statistic that stated that Internet usage was growing by about 2,300% a month. He immediately imagined the possibilities of selling online and began exploring the idea. (Source: Ibid.)
Bezos realized that selling books was an obvious choice to start a business, since even the world’s largest bookstores couldn’t compete with the sheer volume that a virtual store could.
After raising $1.0 million from family and friends, Bezos set up shop in the garage of his Seattle home. After four years, Amazon was already raking in $610 million in sales, with more than 13 million customers worldwide. (Source: Ibid.)
3. He Owns a Space Travel Company
In 2000, Bezos started a space company—Blue Origin, LCC—with the vision to make space travel accessible to everyone. The company was kept a secret until 2006, when he purchased a piece of land in Texas for a launch and test facility.
In 2011, Bezos announced that Blue Origin had lost an unmanned prototype vehicle during a test flight, which revealed for the first time how far the company had come. (Source: “Taking the long view,” The Economist, March 3, 2012; http://www.economist.com/node/21548487.)
In 2015, the company launched its first rocket ship and it was announced that the company was working on a new orbital launch vehicle with a target by the end of the decade for its first flight.
4. Bezos Owns a Newspaper, Too
On August 5, 2013, Bezos purchased The Washington Post for $250 million. For Bezos, the newspaper industry was uncharted territory, but he bought the paper believing that it could be brought into the digital age by leveraging the technical expertise and knowledge he gained while building Amazon.
“I didn’t know anything about the newspaper business, but I did know something about the Internet,” Bezos said. “That, combined with the financial runway that I can provide, is the reason why I bought The Post.” (Source: “Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Explains Why He Bought The Washington Post,” The New York Times, December 2, 2014.)
5. He Was One of the First Investors in Google
In 1998, when Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) was still in its infancy (under its original name of Google Inc.), Bezos invested $250,000 of his own money into the fledgling startup. (Source: “The Story of Jeff Bezos’ $250,000 Investment into Google in 1998,” GrowThink.com, October 5, 2009; http://techland.time.com/2011/03/09/five-rich-tech-titans-and-what-theyve-given-to-charity/slide/jeff-bezos/.) When Google went public in 2004, his investment yielded him 3.3 million shares of Google stock. Bezos does not disclose how many of those shares he still owns, but at GOOG stock’s current price, his investment could be worth about $2.3 billion.
Jeff Bezos’ Net Worth by Year
Data source: Forbes