Offering few specifics, Bezos said he plans to donate the majority of his fortune within his lifetime and that he is in the process of determining how to leverage his wealth for charitable purposes most effectively.
“The hard part is figuring out how to do it in a levered way,” Bezos told CNN. “It’s not easy. Building Amazon was not easy. It took a lot of hard work, a bunch of very smart teammates, hardworking teammates, and I’m finding — and I think Lauren is finding the same thing — that charity, philanthropy, is very similar.”
Unlike some of his wealthy peers, such as Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, Bezos has not yet signed the Giving Pledge, in which they have promised to donate most of their wealth to charitable pursuits.
Bezo’s ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, who amassed billions after their divorce, has donated over $4 billion to a multitude of organizations within the past year, according to CNN. She has garnered a trove of headlines for her charitable endeavors, while Bezos has gone at a much slower tempo.
The Amazon founder, who stepped down as CEO of the e-commerce giant last year, has pledged $10 billion, roughly 8% of his current net worth, over a 10-year period to the Bezos Earth Fund, which he founded and is co-chaired by his partner, philanthropist Lauren Sanchez. The pair recently announced a $100 million grant to singer Dolly Parton.
Bezos is the fourth richest man in the world, according to Bloomberg. He has also spent billions from his Amazon fortune to prop up his space adventures via Blue Origin. In addition to combating climate change, he told CNN that he is keen on working to ease political and social divisions.
“There are a bunch of ways that I think you could do ineffective things, too,” Bezos continued. “So you have to think about it carefully, and you have to have brilliant people on the team.”