Welcome back to Good in the ‘Wood Wednesdays, where we share good news happening in Hollywood and beyond. For this week’s #HollyGOOD news: We’re telling you why Jeff Bezos stepping down as CEO of Amazon is good news.
Bezos announced his decision in a leaked letter to employees on Tuesday, February 2, 2021. Amazon Web Services CEO, Andy Jassy, is set to take over in the third quarter of 2021 while Bezos will step into his new role as the Executive Chair of Amazon’s board.
In the leaked letter, Jeff Bezos said, “I intend to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives.”
According to The Seattle Times, Bezos also wants to devote more time and effort into his philanthropic work. The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that with Jeff Bezos’ net worth––an estimated $197 billion–– could be used to completely transform certain fields through charity donations and philanthropy work.
Years ago, on June 15, 2017, Jeff Bezos tweeted asking for ideas on how to spend his wealth on philanthropic giving:
Request for ideas… pic.twitter.com/j6D68mhseL
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) June 15, 2017
Since then, he has donated a heap of money to various organizations and even created the Day One Fund with his former wife MacKenzie Scott. The Day One Fund is a $2 billion initiative that targets homelessness and early childhood education.
Although Jeff Bezos’ salary is relatively small, his Amazon shares are the fuel behind his mind-blowing net worth. His immense wealth has inspired lots of commentary about how he spends his money––including talk in 2019 about Jeff Bezos’ mega yacht Flying Fox, a rumored $400M purchase mentioned on Twitter that was eventually reported as false.
Just last year, his $10 billion pledge to start the Bezos Earth Fund was the single largest philanthropic donation of 2020.
According to The Seattle Times, the Bezos Earth Fund awarded $791 million in grants to 16 environmental groups last November. These charity and philanthropy groups were each awarded $100 million: the Environmental Defense Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Nature Conservancy, the World Resources Institute and the World Wildlife Fund.
Teri Behrens, Executive Director of the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University, says Jeff Bezos “could make a significant impact depending on how he chooses to target his giving.” Behrens adds, “I would hope that he will look for ways to engage with people closer to the ground, people closer to the problems, so he can help them.”
We’re excited to see what Jeff Bezos has in store when it comes to charitable giving. Tell us your thoughts on him stepping down as CEO of Amazon on Twitter.
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