Who Really Owns and Controls Amazon in 2023?

Amazon began as an online bookseller out of Jeff Bezos‘ garage in 1994. Nearly 30 years later, it has grown into one of the world‘s most valuable companies with a market cap of over $1 trillion. But who exactly owns and controls this e-commerce giant today?

Amazon‘s Stock Ownership Breakdown

While Jeff Bezos remains the largest individual shareholder with around 9.9% of shares, his stake has dropped from 16% in 2020 as he has diversified his wealth portfolio. He is still influential as Executive Chair but no longer has an operational role.

Other insiders with sizable stakes include CEO Andy Jassy, founder of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Andrew Blackburn, and SVP of Consumer Business Jeffrey Wilke – each holding shares worth over $100 million as of October 2022 [1].

However, over 50% of Amazon‘s stock is owned by institutional investors like mutual funds firms. The Vanguard Group and BlackRock remain the largest institutional owners with over 6% each [2].

In total, over 4 million shareholders own stock in Amazon today – indicative of the company‘s tremendous growth from its early days.

Recent Leadership and Strategy Shifts

In July 2021, Andy Jassy succeeded Jeff Bezos as Amazon CEO after leading AWS since its inception. This passed the reins to a new generation of leadership.

Jassy comes from a technology background and intends to focus on evolving Amazon‘s core businesses like cloud computing rather than brick-and-mortar retail pursuits [3]. AWS generated 78% of Amazon‘s $33 billion operating income in 2022, showing its importance [4].

Under Jassy, Amazon has continued acquiring technology firms, like acquiring iRobot for $1.7 billion in 2022 to expand into intelligent home robots [5]. But it has scaled back experimental initiatives like Amazon Care health clinics.

Doubling Down on Retail and Consumer Business

Despite leadership changes, Amazon‘s relentless obsession with customers remains unchanged.

In the retail sector, Amazon now captures 41% of U.S. e-commerce sales, up from 37% in 2020. It has over 200 million Prime members globally who spend more than 2x non-members [6].

To expand its brick-and-mortar presence, Amazon has opened 30 Amazon Go cashier-less convenience stores since 2018 with plans for thousands more [7]. It aims to revolutionize in-person shopping just as it‘s disrupted online retail.

Advertising is a crucial growth area – ad sales grew 30% YoY to over $9 billion in Q2 2022. Amazon‘s data on consumer preferences and shopping habits provide unique targeting capabilities for brands [8].

The Bezos Earth Fund: Jeff Bezos‘ Philanthropic Focus

While Amazon aims to become carbon neutral by 2040, Jeff Bezos has separately established the Bezos Earth Fund to invest his wealth into climate change causes.

The fund has committed $10 billion in total to help preserve and protect the natural world – one of the largest pledges ever by an individual [9].

Recent grantees include the World Resources Institute and ClimateWorks Foundation, showing a focus on policy and education approaches [10].

This highlights how Bezos aims to make his mark beyond Amazon‘s business footprint. As the world‘s second richest man, he has pledged to devote much of his fortune to philanthropy.

Conclusion: Still Evolving and Impacting Society in New Ways

While Jeff Bezos founded and built Amazon, the company‘s future direction is now in newer leaders‘ hands like Andy Jassy. Its core philosophy remains unchanged: be earth‘s most customer-centric company.

Amazon‘s ever-expanding impact on retail, technology, entertainment, and beyond will continue being debated. But its innovation marathon shows no signs of ending. Competitors and partners alike will need to closely track Amazon‘s moves in the years ahead.