Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos Outlines Philanthropic Principles at the Vatican in 2022. Bezos Earth Fund

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will sell 25 million company shares worth nearly $5 billion, according to a July 2, after-market hours regulatory filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The stock price reached a record high of $200.20 on the same day.

In February, Bezos sold almost $8.5 billion worth of Amazon shares. The stock price jumped 80% last year and over 31% year-to-date to hover around $197.50 after hours on July 3. This year's upswing was fueled by the e-commerce giant's 13% year-over-year (YoY) net sales growth to $143.3 billion for Q1 ended March 31. Around $25 billion of sales came from the Amazon Web Services (AWS) division, rapidly rolling out generative AI services to improve customer experiences and employee productivity.

After the recently announced stake sale, Bezos would own around 912 million shares of Amazon or 8.8% of the outstanding stock. The leading AI player had stated earlier that Bezos would sell up to 50 million shares by January-end 2025.

In 2023, he moved to Miami, Florida, from Seattle, Washington. Profits above $250,000 from selling shares or other long-term investments are taxed at 7% in Washington state, while Florida has no state taxes on income or capital gains. Hence, moving to Miami will help Bezos save hundreds of millions in taxes from both the share sale plans so far this year, but he will still be subject to federal taxes.

Despite speculations that shifting to Miami was fueled by a potential reduction in the tax bill, Bezos said last year that his parents had moved back to Miami, where he spent part of his childhood, and that he wanted to be close to the Blue Origin space project. The space program sent six customers to the edge of space in May.

Bezos founded Amazon in 1994 and stepped down as CEO in 2021. However, he remains the executive chair and the largest shareholder. According to Forbes, Bezos is the second richest person worldwide, with a net worth of $214.3 billion.

Amazon Ramps Up AI Integration and Partnerships

The growing demand for AI-powered products and services has consistently driven sales for Amazon's cloud computing business. In Q1, the company showcased how customers and partners leverage AWS GenAI services to improve productivity and accelerate sales.

Amazon continued deploying its GenAI-powered shopping assistant Rufus in its shopping app to help millions of customers save time while making informed purchase decisions. Furthermore, the company ramped up AI features for independent US sellers to create high-quality product listings seamlessly.

Elsewhere, AWS will invest over $5.3 billion in Saudi Arabia and more than $5 billion in Mexico in the coming years to provide developers and startups with more ways to run their applications. The firm also plans to invest $10 billion in two data centre complexes in Mississippi that will create 1,000 jobs and support educational training.

Amazon also introduced several innovations in AWS' GenAI service, Amazon Bedrock. Thousands of organisations use Amazon Bedrock to modify existing large language models using their data to deploy secure, high-quality production GenAI apps. Siemens has announced it will integrate Amazon Bedrock into the Mendix platform to help clients upgrade and create apps using GenAI. Meanwhile, Philips combines AWS HealthImaging and Amazon Bedrock to scale digital pathology.

Amazon also extended its partnership with Nvidia to make AWS the top place in running Nvidia's graphics processing units. The companies will also further Project Ceiba, an AI supercomputer under development on the Nvidia Blackwell platform they will use for their respective AI R&D.

For Q2, Amazon's management announced a net sales guidance between $144 billion and $149 billion.

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