Bezos capitalises on Amazon stock high to lock in gains

Timing of $4bn sale of stock in retail behemoth he founded - after a move to Florida - will see him avoid capital gains tax

Two and a half years after leaving his post as head of Amazon, Jeff Bezos has recently sold 24 million shares in the company. The sale is estimated to be worth more than $4 billion (€3.7 billion) according to Bloomberg, and took place over four trading days.

But why now? Although he has donated shares, Bezos hasn’t sold stock since 2021, around the time he turned over the day-to-day running to current CEO Andy Jassy and became chairman.

But the move wasn’t entirely unexpected. Last year he pledged to sell 50 million shares in Amazon before the end of January 2025, with shareholders notified in the company’s annual report. With the stock price near an all-time high, it is not surprising that selling was an attractive prospect.

There is also the matter of his recent relocation. The billionaire founder moved to Florida a few months ago, a move that works in his favour fiscally speaking. Although Bezos has said he moved to be closer to his family – his parents moved back to Miami, where Bezos grew up – the tax benefits of the state are undoubtedly a bonus.


By selling the stock while he was resident in Florida, Bezos escapes the 7 per cent capital gains tax that his former state of Washington likely would have imposed on the sale.

He is the second richest man in the world, closing in on Tesla owner Elon Musk, though he has committed to giving away most of his vast wealth during his lifetime.

With regards to his involvement in Amazon, Bezos is not going anywhere just yet. While he has sold some of his stock, he still remains a big shareholder in the company, at an estimated 9 per cent. That is still a sizeable chunk of stock to dispose of, even after this sale.