The highs and lows of the last decade for Jeff Bezos, from becoming the world's richest man to a high-profile divorce
Mary MeisenzahlNov 17, 2019, 19:27 IST
Founder, Chairman, CEO and President of Amazon Jeff Bezos gives a thumbs up as he speaks during an event about Blue Origin's space exploration plans in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2019.Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has covered a lot of ground in the past decade.
He became the richest man in the world, and a style icon for tech founders.
Bezos also went through a public divorce, ending a 25 year marriage and starting a new relationship.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has had a pretty big decade.
He saw Amazon turn 25, became the richest man in the world, and even became a meme; he introduced the world to Alexa and bought Whole Foods. But he also weathered an attempt at blackmail and a high-profile divorce.
As the decade draws to a close, let's take a look back at what Jeff Bezos has been up to in the 2010s.
In 2010, Amazon launched Amazon Studios as something of a crowd-sourced, anti-Hollywood-studio.
That year, Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, attended "billionaires' summer camp" at Sun Valley together. At this point, he was worth $12.6 billion.
At some point in the early aughts, Bezos started shaving his head, but he hadn't yet committed to the bald look — which is now key to his iconic style — at this November 2012 appearance on the Today Show.
In this photo from 2013, Bezos' head seems to be recently shaved. We don't really see him with hair again after this point.
In 2013, Bezos bought The Washington Post for $250 million, which amounted to less than 1% of his net worth.
2014 was Amazon's first, and so far last, attempt at releasing a smartphone. The Fire Phone flopped, but by this point, Bezos was worth $30.5 billion.
Amazon also bought streaming service Twitch that same year, which has launched popular streamers like Ninja.
The company released the first generation Echo in 2014, one of the first mainstream smart speakers, and made "Alexa" a household phenomenon.
Amazon opened its first physical store in Seattle, and celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015.
Bezos spent $65 million on a private jet that seats eight in 2015.
In 2016, Bezos used his personal jet to bring a detained Washington Post report home from Germany.
In July 2017, Bezos became world's richest person, surpassing Bill Gates. They switched back and forth briefly before Bezos retook the top spot, which he has mostly held onto ever since.
The same year, Bezos' space company Blue Origin unveiled a rocket designed to take tourists to space, called New Shepard.
2017 was also the year that Bezos' transformation from tech nerd to buff, stylish dad became a meme.
In August 2017, Amazon bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion.
That same year, he also joined Instagram.
By 2018, The New York Times called Bezos a style icon, describing him as a "muscled-up, black-polo-shirt-and-shades digi-stud."
Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos also made one of their last public appearances together at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in 2018.
In January 2019, the couple announced they were divorcing after 25 years of marriage.
A day later, the National Enquirer published details about Bezos and his new girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez.
Shortly after, Bezos published a Medium post titled "No thank you, Mr. Pecker" that accused AMI, the publisher of the National Enquirer, of trying to extort him over naked photos.
In July, as part of his divorce agreement, Bezos transferred one-fourth of his Amazon shares to his ex-wife, making her the third-richest woman in the world.
These days, Bezos' most recent net worth hovers around $110 billion. He's reportedly thinking about his next big purchase, and he's said to be eyeing the Seattle Seahawks. Bezos also reportedly encouraged former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg to jump into the presidential race. Meanwhile, Bezos' girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, is in the process of finalizing her divorce.