Jeff Bezos (Jeffrey Preston Bezos) is an American entrepreneur and investor who in 2018 was named the richest man in the world, after which Elon Musk took over this title. Jeff Bezos is the founder and CEO of Amazon.
Biography Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos was born on 12 January 1964 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His parents divorced shortly after his birth. When he was four, his mother, Jacklyn Gise Bezos, remarried to a Cuban named Mike Bezos, who gave Jeff his surname. The name of his biological father is Ted Jorgensen.
The family lived in Houston and Miami. Jeff attended River Oaks Elementary School in Houston and then moved to Miami for his education at the Miami Palmetto Senior High School. After graduation, he continued his education and attended Princeton University, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in 1986.
After graduating (with degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) he started working for the Taiwanese mobile phone company FITEL. He subsequently worked for Bankers Trust and finally he ended up at D.E. Shaw & Co, an investment company and technological development party which was founded in 1988 by David E. Shaw. Together with Shaw, he came up with the idea of a digital book, which became the foundation for the rest of his career.
Bezos met his ex-wife McKenzie Bezos in 1992 and they married within a year. They had three sons and adopted a daughter from China. On 9 January 2019, Jeff announced his divorce on Twitter. It is remarkable that according to marital law, his ex-wife McKenzie is entitled to half of the common property unless a pre-nuptial agreement had been signed beforehand. This means that he would have to sell a large chunk of his 80 million shares in Amazon.
Jeff Bezos founded the company Amazon in 1994 in order to sell books. He was mainly focused on long term thinking and customer services. These days, Amazon sells millions of different products, many of which are offered by external suppliers who depend on Amazon’s data management services. In 2007, the company introduced an electronic book reader (the Kindle). This is currently Amazon’s best sold product. Four years later, Amazon launched the Kindle Fire.
In 2000 he founded Blue Origin, a business focused on commercial space travel. In 2006, the company purchased a large piece of land in Rexas, serving as testing and launch grounds. The first launch in 2011 wasn’t a success: in fact, the rocket crashed. Fortunately, the second test flight in 2015 was successful, however. The rocket reached the intended height and was also able to land. In 2017 the same rocket made a test flight with dummies on board, which was also a success. Bezos aims to launch the first rocket with human passengers before 2020.
In 2013, Bezos also acquired The Washington Post for 250 million dollars. He mainly focused on online service, as a result of which in 2016 the paper became profitable again for the first time in many years.
Jeff makes personal investments with his business Bezos Enterprises. In fact, he used it to invest $250,000 in Google shares in 1998, acquiring 3.3 million shares. He also invests in businesses that are focused on health and preventing deterioration of the human body. He also invests in technology start-ups such as Twitter, Uber, and AirBnB.
In September 2018 he promised $2 billion of his assets to preschool programmes and support for homeless families.
In 2019, Bezos officially divorced from his wife MacKenzie.
Early 2021, Bezos announced to step down as Chief Executive Officer from Amazon. Midst 2021, after his first succesful space trip, Bezos promised an amount of 100 million dollar to CNN contributor Van Jones and chef José Andrés.
Jeff founded Amazon.com in 1994 from his garage in Seattle. Today, Amazon is one of the largest trading centres in the world and sells all kinds of products. Looking at the numbers, 20% of the revenue in 2015 came from media, the other 80% came from other goods.
In 1997, Amazon went public: 3 million shares were floated for a rate of $16 per share. The revenue in the previous financial year was 32 million with 250 employees. Since 1998-1999, the share has been split three times (two new shares for one old in 1998, three for one in 1999, and, again in 1999, two for one). As a result, there are now 36 million shares in circulation. These are now worth $1,800 per share, 16% of which are owned by Jeff. The business has been profitable ever since 2000.
- 1964. Jeffrey Bezos is born in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
- 1986. Graduates Princeton University. Starts working at Bankers Trust.
- 1994. Introduces Amazon.com to sell books online.
- 1997. Initial public offer of Amazon at $18 per share.
- 1999. Time magazine Person of the Year.
- 2003. Survives helicopter crash in south-west Texas.
- 2007. Introduces the Kindle electronic book reader.
- 2010. E-book sales surpass traditional book sales on Amazon.com.
- 2013. Acquires The Washington Post for $250 million.
- 2018. Becomes the richest person on the planet.
Jeff Bezos quotes
- “If you double the number of experiments you do per year you’re going to double your inventiveness.”
- “Life’s too short to hang out with people who aren’t resourceful.”
- “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.”
- “One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.”
Publications and Books by Jeff Bezos et al.
- 2012. The Power of Invention. SEC. gov, April.
- 2011. 10,000 Year Clock.
- 2010. We are what we choose. Remarks by Jeff Bezos, as Delivered to the Class of.
- 2010. Interview with Charlie Rose. Broadcasted on, 60.
- 2008. Amazon. com ceo jeff bezos on animoto. Startup School.
- 2007. The institutional yes (interview with Jeff Bezos by Julia Kirby and Thomas A. Stewart). Harvard Business Review, 74-83.
- 2006. Web 2.0 podcast: A conversation with Jeff Bezos.
- 2004. Online Extra: Jeff Bezos on word-of-mouth power. Bloomberg Business.
- 2003. Jeff Bezos: Fixated on the Customer. Business Week Online, 29, 2003.
- 2000. An open letter from Jeff Bezos on the subject of patents. Amazon.com.
- 1999. Setting the standard with Jeff Bezos. Internet Summit, 99, 20.
- 1998. A bookstore by any other name. In conferencia en el Commonwealth Club (Vol. 27).
- 1997. Letter to shareholders. Amazon On-Line.
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Published on: 01/12/2019 | Last update: 01/31/2022
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