- Amazon has pledged 1 million Australian dollars, or about $US690,000, to support victims of the Australian wildfires that have devastated the continent.
- However, Amazon has drawn backlash for the size of the donation, which pales in comparison to the company’s $US936 billion market cap.
- In 2018, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ wealth grew by $US690,000 every five minutes.
- Critics ripped Amazon for pledging a donation smaller than that of Facebook and Kylie Jenner, among others.
- One woman said she raised nearly twice what Amazon pledged by selling nude photos online.
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In a heartfelt Instagram post on Sunday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that the company would donate 1 million Australian dollars, or about $US690,000, to the Australian wildfire recovery effort.
That’s less than he made every five minutes in 2018, according to Business Insider’s estimate, based on Forbes’ calculation of Bezos’ net worth at the start and end of 2018. We estimated how much Bezos’ wealth grew over the course of the year based on how much his net worth increased during that time – the estimate doesn’t reflect his salary from Amazon.
Bezos’ wealth has since been affected by divorce settlements and other factors, and it has grown at a slower rate than it did in 2018. According to Forbes’ most recent figures, Bezos’ net worth grew by $US3.5 billion from October 2 to Monday, January 13. At that rate, his wealth would have grown by $US34 million per day, or roughly $US23,600 per minute. So over the past three months, Bezos has made $US690,000, on average, every 30 minutes.
Wildfires have devastated Australia since late July, killing at least 28 people and burning more than 2,000 homes. In a blog post, Amazon said it would channel the money to relief agencies helping victims and restoring wildlife.
The internet was quick to criticise the size of Amazon’s donation, noting that it represented a tiny fraction of Amazon’s $US936 billion market cap. Facebook has said it will donate 1.25 million Australian dollars, and celebrities including Kylie Jenner have pledged larger donations than Amazon. One woman said she raised nearly double what Amazon pledged by selling nude photos online.
In 2018, Bezos’ wealth grew by $US78.5 billion, which breaks down to more than $US215 million a day, or $US149,353 per minute. That figure is an estimate based on how much his net worth grew from 2017 to 2018 and doesn’t reflect Bezos’ exact salary from Amazon. Much of Bezos’ wealth is tied to Amazon stock, which fluctuates in value.
Bezos’ net worth dipped by $US46 billion in 2019, the year he went through a costly divorce, according to Forbes.
An Amazon representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
People reacted to Amazon’s donation with ridicule over the weekend.
Lol. Metallica gave $750,000. https://t.co/l45HkUKhIK
— Daydrink Nation™ (@TimDuffy) January 12, 2020
Metallica announced last week that it would give 750,000 Australian dollars to firefighting efforts in Australia.
People pointed out that a model said she singlehandedly raised roughly $US1 million for the relief efforts last week by selling nude photos.
choose your fighter pic.twitter.com/19n1euu4r8
— jordan (@JordanUhl) January 12, 2020
The 20-year-old model is still raising money.
Kylie Jenner, a billionaire with a significantly smaller net worth than Bezos, said she would donate $US1 million.
Jenner had faced minor backlash for an Instagram post about the fires that was criticised as tasteless.
Many have called on Amazon to pledge a heftier sum.