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Jeff Bezos Sells 1 Million Amazon Shares; Gives Himself a $756.74 Million Bonus

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sold off another 1 million shares of company stock last week, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In the last 3 months, Bezos has sold about $1.4 billion in Amazon stock.  In May, he sold about 1% of his position which equaled approximately $671 million.

The most recent sale is the largest by far totaling $756.74 million.  The massive bonus was well deserved as Amazon shares have been up about 10% this year.

The recent unloading of Amazon stock was not a spur of the moment decision by Bezos.  The sales were performed under SEC Rule 10b5-1.  This is a regulation that allows insiders of publicly traded corporations to set up a trading plan for selling stocks they own. Rule 10b5-1 allows major holders to sell a predetermined number of shares at a predetermined time.

Bezos may be using Rule 10b5-1 to fill the major gap in his compensation.  The Amazon founder is paid a ridiculous $81,000 a year.  Compare that to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s salary of $9.2 million a year, and you can see the benefit of using the SEC regulation to make up the difference.  And then some.  Bezos still owns a large amount of Amazon shares as he still owns just over 17% of the company.

Recently, Jeff Bezos unseated Warren Buffet as the third richest person in the world. The third spot puts him behind Spain’s Amancio Ortega and Microsoft Owner Bill Gates (the richest man in the world). Bill Gates’ worth is listed at $89 Billion while Ortega came second at $78 billion.

A few people think Bezos passed Buffett after the Berkshire Hathaway chairman donated $2.2 billion in stock to the Bill and Melinda foundation. However, Buffett still recorded a $2.7 billion increase in his total wealth in 2016.

Image credit: Flickr

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