Amazon founder Jeff Bezos sells into strength, offloads shares worth $500m

Jeff Bezoz, Amazon CEOPhoto credit: jurvetson / Foter / CC BY
Jeff Bezoz, Amazon CEO
Photo credit: jurvetson / Foter / CC BY

By Spencer Soper

(Bloomberg) — Inc.’s soaring stock price helped to boost proceeds from the sale of 1 million shares by Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos this week, helping him reap more than $500 million.

The sale was part of a divestment plan, according to a regulatory filing. Bezos sold the stock at weighted-average prices ranging from $529.91 to $539.81, according to the filing. He still owns 82.9 million shares, or 18 percent, of the Seattle-based Web retailer.

The shares of Amazon, which reported a surprise profit in the second quarter, are up 73 percent this year. Bezos, who has a net worth of $48 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, founded Amazon two decades ago and is pushing the online retailer beyond sales of books, electronics and household items as the company matures. While the CEO usually pours cash back into growing Amazon’s business, he occasionally pulls back on spending to show it can be profitable.

Teal Pennebaker, a spokeswoman for Amazon, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.