eCommerce giant Amazon’s founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, announced he will sell a billion dollars’ worth of shares every year. The money will go into his new “toy”, space agency Blue Origin.
In pursuit of Elon Musk
53-year old Bezos announced his intentions at an American symposium on space travel. Blue Origin intends to launch its first suborbital space flight, with paying customers, in 2018 at a height of about 62 kilometers. The trip, which will only last eleven minutes, will cost about 300,000 dollars. It may seem like an enormous sum, but rocket development is extremely expensive: Bezos believes he will need 2.5 billion dollars at first and to obtain that money, he will sell some of his 17.5 % Amazon shares, worth 73.5 billion dollars.
His worth is estimated to be 75 billion euro and with Amazon’s share surge will only contribute to that, especially after its most recent acquisition, Arabian web shop Souq.com. Over the past three months, his wealth grew 10.2 billion dollars, which means he is the second richest man in the world now. He still trails Bill Gates (former Microsoft), but is now ahead of investor Warren Buffett and Zara founder Amancio Ortega.
His manned space flight plans are competition for SpaceX, Tesla founder Elon Musk’s space company. The latter hopes to have two tourists circle the moon next year.