Jeff Bezos is donating money to fix a problem his company perpetuates

14 Septembre, 2018, 03:57 | Auteur: Therese Cote
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How he would use that fortune for philanthropy has always been a point of discussion, especially after June 2017 when he solicited ideas on Twitter for ways he could make a difference.

In a post to his Twitter account, Bezos said one part of the fund will give money to organizations and groups that provide shelter and food to young homeless families. Going by Wednesday's closing price of $1,990 per share, Bezos will need to gift about 1 million shares of Amazon stock to meet the $2 billion commitment, Forbes reports, adding that he would be left with some 78 million shares of the company he founded.

The "Bezos Day One Fund" created by Bezos and his wife MacKenzie will focus on two areas: helping "existing nonprofits that help homeless families" and funding "a network of new, nonprofit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities", he wrote.

Mr Bezos asked on Twitter last year for suggestions on how he might use his personal fortune, which this year has soared due to Amazon's surging share price and U.S. tax cuts.

There will also be full scholarships for Montessori-inspired preschools in "underserved" communities, he said. The following week, Bezos will speak at the Air Force Association conference in National Harbor, an appearance tied to his rocket company, Blue Origin.

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Mr Bezos - reportedly worth more than $164bn - has faced criticism for not doing more philanthropic work. Amazon's digital assistant Alexa has helped drive its hardware sales and is used on smart devices ranging from cars to refrigerators.

Bezos made the announcement Thursday in a tweet and a post on his Instagram account.

He has also been criticized for not contributing his fortune to philanthropy like other billionaires have, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett.

Earlier this year, under pressure from Amazon and other large employers, Seattle's City Council repealed an employee head tax created to provide housing and services for the homeless. He has not signed on to the Giving Pledge, and the Bezos Family Foundation is reportedly run by his parents; Bezos does not play an active role. In January, Bezos also personally gave $33 million United States in college scholarships for young immigrants living in the USA illegally.

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