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

Originally published on CNBC.com on Jan 13, 2020

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

“Our hearts go out to all Australians as they cope with these devastating bushfires,” Bezos said on Instagram.

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.”

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 band Metallica gave more than $500,000.

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