the main points
- Jeff Bezos says he plans to give away most of his $185 billion fortune during his lifetime
- The Amazon founder is the latest billionaire to make such a pledge.
- He did not specify how or to whom he would donate the money.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos plans to give away most of his fortune, becoming the latest billionaire to pledge a significant portion of his vast fortune.
Bezos, whose real-time valuation is estimated by Forbes at $124.1 billion ($185.3 billion), made the announcement in a joint CNN interview with girlfriend Lauren Sanchez, which was released Monday.
He did not specify how or to whom he would donate the money but said the couple was building “capacity” to do so.
“The hard part is figuring out how to do it in an efficient way,” Bezos said during the interview.
“It’s not easy. Building Amazon wasn’t easy. It took a lot of hard work and very smart colleagues. And I find — and Lauren’s discovery — that philanthropy is very similar. It’s not easy. It’s really hard.”
Just hours after the announcement, reports emerged that Amazon plans to lay off about 10,000 employees in corporate and technology roles, starting this week.
The cuts, reported by The New York Times, will account for about 3 percent of Amazon’s employees and would be the largest such cut yet.
While It is more than twice the national average, and in recent years the company has faced increased activity and criticism about its operating conditions.
Labor groups and Amazon employees have alleged that the company does not give its hourly employees enough rest times, relies too much on strict productivity measures, has unsafe working conditions, and has impeded efforts to unionize workers.
To Not Sign the Giving Pledge, the campaign launched by Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates, and Warren Buffett to encourage billionaires to give away most of their wealth through philanthropy.
The 58-year-old stepped down as CEO of Amazon last year to devote more time to charity and other ventures. As part of the Bezos Earth Fund initiative. And according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, he donated $510.7 million ($762.4 million) to nonprofits last year.
On Saturday, Bezos and Ms. Sanchez also announced a $100 million ($149 million) no strings attached grant to singer Dolly Parton, whose philanthropy has been praised. . Bezos made a similar grant to chef Jose Andres and CNN commentator Van Jones last year.