Jeff Bezos pledges to give most of his fortune to charity but people aren't buying it (VIDEO)
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has pledged to give a majority of his $124 billion net worth to charity during his lifetime, but people aren’t buying it.
In an exclusive interview with CNN, Bezos said he would donate most of his money to fight climate change and support people who can “unify humanity in the face of deep social and political divisions.”
CNN says this marks the first time the second richest person in the world has announced his plans to give away most of his fortune.
Exclusive: Jeff Bezos tells CNN that he’ll give away the majority of his $124 billion net worth during his lifetime, the first time he’s made such a promise. https://t.co/aqehwBAvw2 pic.twitter.com/hFUdLa9GYZ
— CNN (@CNN) November 14, 2022
Bezos and his partner, journalist-turned-philanthropist Lauren Sánchez, told the news organization that they are “building the capacity to be able to give away this money,” though they didn’t go into specifics.
The pair has already doled out their first donation to country music icon Dolly Parton.
Parton received a $100 million grant from the couple on Saturday as part of the Courage and Civility Award, an annual honour given by Bezos since 2021. Chef Jose Andrés and CNN contributor Van Jones were its previous recipients.
“I try to put my money where my heart is. I will do my best to do good things with this money ❤️ Thank you,” tweeted Parton.
I try to put my money where my heart is. I will do my best to do good things with this money ❤️ Thank you @JeffBezos #LaurenSanchez https://t.co/8RHh51z3jT
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) November 13, 2022
Many people aren’t convinced by this big show of philanthropy.
One Twitter user pointed out that this news came ahead of a bombshell report that says Amazon plans to lay off thousands of employees starting this week.
“Please try to convince me he cares about people and is a good person. Please,” they said in a tweet that is no longer able to be viewed by the public.
It is important to note that Bezos stepped down as CEO of the tech giant in 2021.
Others highlighted the well-known mistreatment of Amazon workers in warehouses. Employees went on strike over the pandemic to demand better work conditions.
The company has even been accused of blocking words like “union,” “pay raise,” and “injustice” from its internal employee apps.
“Jeff Bezos is giving away a lot of his money. If you’re feeling so generous, how about paying your employees more money,” tweeted one person.
Jeff Bezos is giving away a lot of his money. If you’re feeling so generous, how about pay your employees more money.
— Gary (@gscucci) November 14, 2022
I saw a piece on CNN re: Jeff Bezos and his giving away money. lots of money. What a wonderful guy. In other news Amazon workers are running around in the various fulfillment centers wearing diapers and peeing in bottles. Meanwhile Amazon fights unionization.
— Neall (@nlltrt) November 14, 2022
A financial expert also pointed out that “‘giving away your fortune to charity’ often means ‘putting your money in a charity trust you and your family controls’ which is an effective way to avoid inheritance tax!”
To any journalist covering this today, please remember that “giving away your fortune to charity” often means “putting your money in a charity trust you and your family controls” which is an effective way to avoid inheritance tax! https://t.co/vRjWGCj3Ae
— Oliver Sachgau (@sachgau) November 14, 2022
Bezos isn’t the first billionaire to make these grand promises.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates announced earlier this year that he would donate most of his wealth to charity, and eventually remove himself from the list of richest people in the world.
Most recently, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard made the unprecedented move to donate all of his $3 billion company to fight climate change.