And it appears that's exactly what he intends to do. Bezos has settled on "two areas" on which to focus his philanthropic efforts, according to a tweet he sent out Wednesday night.
A year ago, Bezos solicited ideas for his charitable giving efforts, also over Twitter.
On Wednesday, Bezos said he would announce the two areas "before the end of the summer." And, Bezos also said he hopes to "announce some hiring" around the same time, suggesting that there could be some new employment opportunities that spring from his mysterious new philanthropic efforts.
In particular, Bezos is committed to investing in his space company, Blue Origin.
"The only way that I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel. That is basically it," Bezos said.
He called founding and funding Blue Origin "the most important work that I'm doing."
"Blue Origin is expensive enough to be able to use that fortune," he said. "I am currently liquidating about $1 billion a year of Amazon stock to fund Blue Origin. And I plan to continue to do that for a long time."
With his companies, Bezos thinks of the big picture.
With his philanthropy, however, he has said he will be more focused on the near term.
"I'm thinking about a philanthropy strategy that is the opposite of how I mostly spend my time — working on the long term. For philanthropy, I find I'm drawn to the other end of the spectrum: the right now," he said in his 2017 tweet seeking ideas for charitable efforts.
"I like long-term — it's a huge lever: Blue Origin, Amazon, Washington Post — all of these are contributing to society and civilization in their own ways. But I'm thinking I want much of my philanthropic activity to be helping people in the here and now — short term — at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact."
Bezos has been criticized for not giving much of his wealth to philanthropy. In contrast, the second and fourth wealthiest people in the world, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett respectively, co-founded The Giving Pledge, call for billionaires to pledge to give away at least half of their wealth to charity.
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