Jeff Bezos says Amazon is donating $690,000 to Australian bush fire efforts

Wealth

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, pictured on September 13, 2018.

Bloomberg | Getty Images

Billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has announced his company will donate $690,000 donation to bush fire relief efforts in Australia.

In an Instagram post on Sunday, Bezos pledged 1 million Australian dollars ($690,000) on behalf of the tech giant — an amount that has faced criticism by some on social media.

“Our hearts go out to all Australians as they cope with these devastating bushfires,” Bezos said. “Amazon is donating 1 million AU dollars in needed provisions and services.”

The figure was derided by some online, with people comparing the sum with Bezos’ personal net worth.

Bezos has a net worth of $116.7 billion, according to Forbes, and according to a 2019 Business Insider analysis was earning almost $9 million an hour in 2018. Amazon has a market capitalization of more than $930 billion.

The conglomerate’s move to help tackle the bush fires was also compared to other high-profile contributions, with many pointing out that a string of celebrities with far less personal wealth than Bezos had donated more out of their own pockets.

Marvel star Chris Hemsworth, whose net worth is estimated at $76 million, matched Amazon’s donation, while singer Pink, who Forbes says has a fortune of $57 million, pledged $500,000.

Billionaire Kylie Jenner has donated $1 million, while actress Bette Midler matched Pink’s donation and rock bank Metallica gave more than $500,000.

The CEOs of tech giants Apple and Google have also publicly responded to the crisis in Australia.

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said on Twitter last week that the bush fires were “devastating” to witness, adding that the organization had donated to support relief efforts.

At the end of last year, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook took to Twitter to announce that the company would be donating to assist with efforts in Australia. Neither Pichai nor Cook disclosed how much the companies had donated.

A spokesperson for Amazon was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

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