Although many people shop online from amazon, most people do not know who owns amazon. Amazon has been around for more than two decades. Although it is mostly known as an e-commerce giant, it has diversified into other areas, such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence. The company has also made some notable acquisitions in recent years. So who are the people behind Amazon? Who are the company’s shareholders? What are their backgrounds? And what do they own? Here are some facts about Amazon’s ownership structure.
Who Owns Amazon?
The company’s structure is straightforward. Amazon is and has been owned by its investors. Amazon’s three founding shareholders — Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s co-founder and chief executive, Amazon’s chief financial officer, Dave Clark, and the company’s president, Jeff Wilke — own 16 percent of the company’s shares, according to the company’s 2018 proxy statement. Bezos owns about 17 percent of Amazon, and Clark owns about 3 percent. Wilke’s ownership is undisclosed.
Despite not being a majority shareholder, Bezos has been the company’s chief executive for more than two decades, according to the company’s 2018 proxy statement.
Why Amazon’s Ownership Structure Is Simple
The short answer: because it’s complicated.
Who are the company’s shareholders?
Amazon’s ownership structure has not always been so public. However, the company has been increasingly open about its ownership structure, and it has recently made it easier to follow how its business is structured. For example, in January, Amazon started to show how many shares of stock each shareholder has. More than half of the company’s stock is owned by CEO Jeff Bezos. However, you may be surprised by the company’s other top shareholders. Amazon lists Steve Jobs as the fifth-largest individual shareholder, and Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page are in the top 10. Amazon’s list of top 100 shareholders is quite a long one. For example, of the top 20, the most recent executive to buy Amazon stock was Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg.
What We Know About Jeff Bezos’ Shareholdings
Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon owns approximately 16% of the company’s shares. A number of other wealthy individuals, including Amazon’s former chief financial officer, Tim Barratt, and venture capitalist and former governor of New Mexico Bill Richardson, own other shares in the company.
Jeff Bezos participates in a discussion during the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in New York, the U.S., on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. Lucas Jackson
Bezos owns over 50 percent of Amazon’s shares, and his total ownership stake is valued at $90.3 billion. However, he has pledged not to sell any of his shares in the company for at least 10 years. Bezos also hasn’t disclosed his net worth. However, he is estimated to be worth $92.
Amazon’s Recent Acquisitions
Amazon has made some notable acquisitions in recent years. Its biggest deal to date is Whole Foods. The company has made multiple similar purchases since that deal was announced in June 2017. One acquisition, for instance, was of the streaming-video platform Twitch in 2015.
Amazon has also made a number of smaller acquisitions, including purchasing online pharmacy startup PillPack, which it acquired in June 2018. However, the biggest merger of all is the company’s merger with Whole Foods. That deal was announced on Aug. 28, 2017, and it closed on Aug. 28, 2018.
Amazon is majority-owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Bezos owns approximately 78.8 million shares of Amazon. Bezos also owns around 16.
The three companies behind Amazon
The three companies behind Amazon are Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), the founding corporation founded in 1994; Amazon.com Services, founded in 1997; and Amazon Technologies, founded in 2002.
In 2018, Amazon.com Inc. had the biggest market capitalization of all companies that make up Amazon.com Inc. However, that was mainly because Amazon.com Services is just a sister company of Amazon.com Inc. The company had a valuation of more than $616 billion as of Feb. 14, 2019.
Amazon is a member of the S&P 500 Index and has been one of the most frequently traded stocks globally.
Amazon’s biggest shareholders
Amazon’s current largest shareholders are Vanguard Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: VTI), BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK), and Capital Group Companies Inc.
The shareholders of those three companies
As mentioned above, Amazon is made up of many different parts. The big three include the parent company, Amazon, and subsidiaries such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Amazon Retail. Each of the three companies owns a part of the parent, and those are what form Amazon.
Amazon is about 87.3% owned by other companies.
90.4% is held by the executives and executives’ immediate families.
1.2% is owned by Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder, and CEO.
8.4% is owned by the investment firm Fidelity Investments.
The Saudi Arabian government owns 4.4%.
All three companies are highly profitable. Amazon’s market cap is $1 trillion, and AWS generated $3.66 billion in revenue in 2017.
Background of Amazon’s Founders
The company’s founders were Jeff Bezos, a founder and CEO of Amazon, and Dave Briggs, an engineer who developed the core operating system for the original Amazon Web Services platform. Bezos became CEO of Amazon in 1998 when he was 34 years old, and he has held that position ever since. He is currently the world’s richest man, and according to Business Insider, he owns nearly 59 percent of the company.
Briggs owns 18 percent of the company. He’s also the founder of Xoom, a money transfer service, which Amazon acquired in 2015. The remaining 11 percent of the company is owned by the company’s employees, which is known as Amazon’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan. Amazon has had a history of maintaining an employee ownership plan since it was founded in 1994.
The Future of Amazon
Amazon.com Inc. is a publicly-traded company. It has more than 500,000 employees worldwide and is also the second most valuable company in the world, after Apple Inc. The company started as a bookseller and offers a wide variety of other products and services, such as groceries, fashion, home and kitchen appliances, electronics, digital services, and video games.
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