Jeff Bezos says goodbye to Seattle. The third-richest man in the world has announced that he is moving to Miami. The founder of Amazon is leaving the city where he has spent most of his life and which he has transformed with the creation of his e-commerce empire. He announced it himself through his Instagram account. This year, Bezos bought two adjoining mansions in Indian Creek, an artificial island in Miami known as the “Billionaire Bunker.” He says he is moving there to be closer to his parents and the operations of Blue Origin, his space company.
“I’ve lived in Seattle longer than I’ve lived anywhere else and have so many amazing memories here. As exciting as the move is, it’s an emotional decision for me. Seattle, you will always have a piece of my heart,” he wrote on Instagram.
“Seattle has been my home since 1994 when I started Amazon out of my garage,” Bezos also wrote in the post, which is accompanied by a video shot by his father. In it, a young Bezos is seen in jeans in Amazon’s “first office” in 1994. “See this big orange extension cord? That’s one of the contractions that we have to have because there’s not enough power in this room. So we have to bring in some extra circuit breakers,” he tells the camera. After a couple of takes, the video ends: “And, uh, that’s about it. It doesn’t take long to tour the offices of Amazon.com Inc.”
From that ramshackle, messy room where it started selling books online, Amazon has grown into an empire with 1.5 million workers worldwide. It is the absolute leader in e-commerce, has opened physical stores and diversified its business into other areas, including cloud computing. It had a turnover of more than $500 billion in 2022 and is worth $1.4 trillion on the stock market.
The 59-year-old businessman ceded the position of Amazon’s chief executive to Andy Jassy in 2021. The company has made Bezos the third-richest man in the world, with a fortune estimated by Bloomberg at $161 billion, behind only Elon Musk ($208 billion) and very close to Bernard Arnault ($163 billion). He came to occupy the first place before divorcing his wife, McKenzie Scott, after 25 years of marriage. She kept 25% of his Amazon stake. The businessman retained 75%, plus The Washington Post and the space company Blue Origin.
The proximity to his parents and the launch base at Cape Canaveral (Florida), just over 300 kilometers from Miami, are the explanations that Bezos, whose current partner is expert journalist Lauren Sanchez, gives for the move. “My parents have always been my biggest supporters. They recently moved back to Miami, the place we lived when I was younger (Miami Palmetto High class of ‘82 — GO Panthers!) I want to be close to my parents, and Lauren and I love Miami. Also, Blue Origin’s operations are increasingly shifting to Cape Canaveral. For all that, I’m planning to return to Miami, leaving the Pacific Northwest,” he wrote on Instagram.
His two mansions in Miami are in Indian Creek, an artificial island with 41 residences and a golf club in an area of 1.2 square kilometers. For the first house, he paid $68 million and for the second, $79 million. Among his illustrious neighbors are the best American football player in history, Tom Brady, actor Jared Kushner, and businessman Carl Icahn.
Beyond the billionaire’s bunker, Miami has become a magnet for entrepreneurs and celebrities, thanks in part to its low taxation. Tech entrepreneurs like Keith Rabois, Peter Thiel, Jon Oringer and Bryan Goldburg and hedge fund moguls like Ken Griffin, Dan Loeb and Josh Harris have moved there.
Bezos also has homes in Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles and Maui, as well as a ranch in Texas, the launch base for Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket. In Walter Isaacson’s biography of Elon Musk, the entrepreneur criticized Bezos’s lifestyle. And in a 2021 interview with the Financial Times, Musk said of the Amazon founder: “In some ways, I’m trying to goad him into spending more time at Blue Origin so they make more progress. As a friend of mine says, he should spend more time at Blue Origin and less time in the hot tub.”
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