Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, has announced that he is leaving Seattle, the city where he started his e-commerce empire in 1994, and moving to Miami, his childhood home. Bezos revealed his decision in an Instagram post on Thursday, saying that it was an “emotional” choice for him.
Bezos cited three main reasons for his move: his parents, his partner, and his space company. He said that his parents recently moved back to Florida, where he and his family lived when he was younger, and that he wanted to be closer to them. He also mentioned his fiancée Lauren Sánchez, who works with him on philanthropic projects, and said that they love Miami.
The third reason was his space exploration company Blue Origin, which has its operations increasingly shifting to Cape Canaveral, about three hours north of Miami. Bezos has been investing billions of dollars in Blue Origin, which aims to make space travel more accessible and affordable. He plans to fly to space himself on one of his rockets next year.
Bezos’ move to Miami could have several implications for his businesses and personal life. For one thing, Florida does not have state capital gains taxes, which could save Bezos a lot of money when he sells his Amazon shares. He periodically sells shares of Amazon, which is valued at over $1.7 trillion, to fund his other ventures.
Another implication is the impact on Amazon, which has its headquarters in Seattle, where it employs more than 55,000 people. Amazon has transformed Seattle’s South Lake Union district, replacing warehouses and parking lots with office towers, highly paid tech workers, and expensive eateries. The company’s growth has also contributed to an economic boom and rising rents in the city.
Bezos said that he will always have a piece of his heart in Seattle, and that he will continue to be involved in Amazon’s affairs. However, some analysts have speculated that his move could signal a gradual transition of power to his successor, Andy Jassy, who took over as Amazon’s CEO in July. Jassy, who was previously the head of Amazon’s cloud computing division, is based in Seattle.
Bezos’ move to Miami could also boost the city’s reputation as a tech hub. Miami has been attracting more tech entrepreneurs and investors in recent years, thanks to its favorable tax climate, diverse talent pool, and vibrant culture. The city’s mayor, Francis Suarez, has been actively courting tech leaders, including Bezos, to relocate or expand their businesses in Miami.
Bezos and Sánchez have reportedly bought neighboring mansions for a combined $144 million in Biscayne Bay, an exclusive area known as “Billionaire Bunker”. The area is home to other wealthy and famous residents, such as investor Carl Icahn and NFL star Tom Brady. Bezos and Sánchez are expected to tie the knot soon, after finalizing their respective divorces from their previous spouses.