The highs and lows of the last decade for Jeff Bezos, from becoming the world's richest man to a high-profile divorce (AMZN)


Jeff Bezos

  • 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. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

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.

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In 2010, Amazon launched Amazon Studios as something of a crowd-sourced, anti-Hollywood-studio.

Amazon Studios will acquire movies or series, or produce original ones. In the last few years, it’s made shows like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and movies like “Manchester by the Sea.”

Source: Seattle Business Magazine, Amazon

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.

Source: Forbes

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.

Source: Forbes

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.

Source: CNN

Amazon also bought streaming service Twitch that same year, which has launched popular streamers like Ninja.

Source: CNN

The company released the first generation Echo in 2014, one of the first mainstream smart speakers, and made “Alexa” a household phenomenon.

Source: TechCrunch

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.

Source: Yucatan Times

In 2016, Bezos used his personal jet to bring a detained Washington Post report home from Germany.

Source: Business Insider

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.

Source: Business Insider

The same year, Bezos’ space company Blue Origin unveiled a rocket designed to take tourists to space, called New Shepard.

Source: Forbes

2017 was also the year that Bezos’ transformation from tech nerd to buff, stylish dad became a meme.

Tweet Embed:
Former and current Jeff Bezos is literally the ‘you vs. the guy she told you not to worry about’ meme.

Source: Business Insider

In August 2017, Amazon bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion.

Source: CNN

That same year, he also joined Instagram.

Source: 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.”

Source: The New York Times

Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos also made one of their last public appearances together at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in 2018.

Source: Forbes

In January 2019, the couple announced they were divorcing after 25 years of marriage.

Source: Business Insider

A day later, the National Enquirer published details about Bezos and his new girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez.

Source: Forbes

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.

Bezos said the publication was threatening to release naked photos it had obtained of him unless he stopped investigating the source of other leaks to the tabloid. 

Bezos wrote, “Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten.”

Source: Medium

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.

Source: Forbes

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.

Source: Business Insider, Business Insider, Page Six, Business Insider