Years after celebrated philanthropist MacKenzie Scott—former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos—signed the Giving Pledge, joining some of the world’s filthy-richest people vowing to give away the majority of their vast fortunes before they die, the cheap merchandise magnate has promised to unload his own fortune before he drops as well, CNN reports.
Bezos, who currently enjoys a “real-time” net worth estimated by Forbes magazine net $124.1 billion—but remains, as ever, merely the second-richest human behind novice Twitter-owner Elon Musk—announced the decision during a joint CNN interview Monday alongside his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez. He left out specific details such as how he will give it away and to whom it will go, but said that he and Sanchez were building the “capacity” to begin giving it all away.
“The hard part is figuring out how to do it in a levered way,” Bezos said. “It’s not easy. Building Amazon was not easy. It took a lot of hard work and very smart teammates. And I’m finding—and Lauren’s finding that philanthropy is very similar. It’s not easy. It’s really hard.”
Along with the announcement, Bezos and Sanchez gave a no-strings-attached $100 million grant to Dolly Parton, who has been noted for her work in aiding in the development of the Moderna vaccine for COVID.
Bezos has faced criticism in the past for not signing the Giving Pledge, a campaign launched by Bill Gates, Melinda French Gates, and Warren Buffet to push billionaires to focus more on a philanthropic way of life.
MacKenzie Scott, famously signed the pledge in 2019, the year she and Bezos split, and has since become one of the most prominent figures in the world of philanthropy, often donating millions to charities across the United States.
As recently as 2021, Scott showered charities with over $2.7 billion, notably aiding multiple Los Angeles organizations. In September 2022, she even went on to donate $55 million worth of Beverly Hills property to the California Community Foundation.
In the past three years, she has made good on her promise to donate “until the safe is empty,” giving more than $12 billion historically Black colleges and universities, women’s rights groups and a long, long list of other nonprofits.
Bezos has pledged $10 billion to fight climate change and $510.7 to other charities since he stepped down as Amazon CEO last year. He still operates as executive chairman, owning 12.7 percent of the company with over 64 million shares.
In the midst of his announcement to dedicate himself to philanthropy, the New York Times reported that Amazon plans to lay off roughly 10,000 people in corporate and technology as soon as this week.
For Bezos, apparently, charity does not begin at home.