Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sold over $4 billion worth of the company’s stock shares over the past week or so, but no one knows why.
According to multiple Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) filings over the past week, Bezos sold more than $570 million in shares on Friday, February 7, alone. CNBC reports that these massive amounts of shares were sold as part of a prearranged trading plan.
The stock transactions occurred only weeks after information on Bezos’ 2018 phone hack was released to the public. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) reportedly sent a malicious video file through WhatsApp that was able to infiltrate Bezos’ phone and much of his data.
Bezos was reportedly targeted because of his company, Nash Holdings, and its ownership of the Washington Post, specifically the paper’s aggressive coverage of Saudi Arabia around the time of the hack.
Aside from Amazon and the Washington Post, Bezos also owns the space exploration company, Blue Origin. CNBC previously reported that Bezos committed to selling $1 billion in Amazon stock per year to fund Blue Origin, so some of the recent stock transactions could go towards the space company.
“My business model right now … for Blue Origin is I sell about $1 billion of Amazon stock a year and I use it to invest in Blue Origin,” Bezos told CNBC back in 2017. “It’s a long road to get there and I’m happy to invest in it.”
One of Blue Origin’s short-term goals is to use its rocket to launch space tourism services for those with enough money looking to travel to space. The company is also developing a more powerful rocket called New Glenn and is also hoping to have its Blue Moon lander selected by NASA for a future lunar mission.
This past November, NASA selected 14 commercial space companies, including Blue Origin, to work with the space agency on its Artemis program, which is seeking to establish a sustainable presence on the moon, with an eye on eventual crewed missions to Mars.
Digital Trends reached out to Amazon to comment on the stock share transactions. We will update this story when we hear back.
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