Who Owns Amazon? 10 Major AMZN Shareholders in 2024

The wedding date of billionaire Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez is not the only major announcement from the founder of e-commerce giant Amazon that the media will be watching.

Media and investors alike would like to know if Bezos will offload more of his Amazon ownership in the coming months. On November 15 and 16, 2023, Bezos surprised the market by selling 1.67 million shares as a nonprofit contribution, a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing showed.

CNBC reported on November 21, 2023, that the world’s third richest man might sell up to 10 million shares, amounting to more than $1 billion in stock.

Although Bezos currently owns over 988 million AMZN shares, his ownership has declined significantly since 1998, a year after Amazon became a publicly listed company.

In this article, we discuss who owned Amazon in 2023 and who are the largest shareholders of Amazon in 2024

Key Facts

  • Jeff Bezos’ ownership of Amazon has dwindled to under 10% in 2023, down from his initial 41% stake in 1998.
  • While influential in the company, Amazon’s board of directors and officers generally hold relatively minor ownership stakes compared to institutional investors.
  • The company’s ownership structure has evolved significantly, with early investors like Jeff Bezos’ parents and L. John Doerr playing key roles.
  • Investment management firms and asset managers acquired substantial stakes in Amazon in the early 2000s, with Legg Mason and TWC Group among the early contenders.
  • Amazon’s major institutional investors include Vanguard, Blackrock, and State Street, collectively holding a large portion of the company’s stock.

Amazon’s Ownership Structure Analysis

Before we dive into who the owners of Amazon are, let’s examine how Amazon’s ownership and its ownership structure have changed over the years.

The Evolution of Amazon’s Ownership

Amazon Founder and Early Individual Investors

Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s owner, trail-blazed what are now known as start-ups well before the buzz.

Advertisements

In the 1998 Annual Meeting of Stockholders for Amazon, it was noted that Jeff Bezos’ parents were among the initial investors in the company. This investment stage is commonly referred to as the ‘pre-seed funding stage’ in start-up terminology. During this phase, funding typically comes from friends and family of the company’s founder.

The Los Angeles Times reported in 2015 that Jackie and Miguel Bezos invested $245,000 into their son’s fledgling start-up. In the 1998 stockholders meeting report, the couple had 1.57 million shares, representing 6.5% of the company’s total outstanding stock.

John Doerr, chairman of the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, was another early investor in Amazon. At that time, Doerr and Kleiner Perkins held stakes of 12% and 11.4%, respectively.

Tom A. Alberg, co-founder of the venture capital firm Madrona, played a crucial role in persuading investors to finance Amazon. His guidance was instrumental in transforming Amazon into the world’s largest e-commerce company, boasting a market capitalization of nearly $1.5 trillion.

Alberg, who passed away on August 5, 2022, served on Amazon’s board for 23 years. Madrona stated in Alberg’s obituary:

“Tom is best known for his early investment in Amazon during a time (1995) when buying anything online was considered risky and unlikely to succeed. Working with Jeff Bezos and the Amazon team, he helped to build one of the largest and most successful companies on the globe.”

Amazon’s Institutional Investors

As Amazon evolved into an e-commerce powerhouse, its shareholder composition has changed significantly.

In the early 2000s, investment management firms and asset managers emerged as prominent Amazon owners.

By the end of March 2001, the American investment management firm Legg Mason had become the second-largest shareholder in Amazon, holding a 14.67% stake, second only to Bezos.

This trend of investment firms acquiring substantial stakes continued, with TWC Group following Legg Mason’s lead in 2004.

In 2007, the ownership of Amazon began to shift towards fund managers with Smith Barney Fund Management, which was later rebranded as Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in 2012, acquiring a stake. The following year, the asset manager T Rowe Price Associates also became a shareholder, securing a 5.10% stake in Amazon.

However, it wasn’t until 2017 that Blackrock and Vanguard, two of the world’s largest asset managers, entered into the top ten shareholders of Amazon. They have continued to be among the largest Amazon shareholders since then.

Amazon’s Ownership Structure

Over the years, the shareholders of the Seattle-based e-commerce giant have become more diverse. As with many publicly traded companies, Amazon has institutional, individual, retail, and insider investors.

According to Nasdaq, Amazon has a total of 10.33 billion outstanding shares. Wall Street Zen reports that institutional investors — which include entities like mutual or pension funds, insurance companies, and investment firms — account for 58.6% of Amazon’s total common outstanding shares.

Retail investors hold 31.77%, while insider or individual shareholders, including Jeff Bezos and company directors, own about 9.6%.

Compared to other internet retail peers, Amazon has the second-highest proportion of institutional shareholders. In contrast, the Argentinian internet retailer Mercado Libre (MELI) leads with 79.20% of its shares held by institutional investors. Wall Street Zen’s data shows that individual shareholders hold just over 3% of MELI stock.

Wall Street Zen data indicates a markedly lower level of institutional ownership in two Chinese e-commerce giants. Institutional investors hold only 1.72% of Alibaba’s shares and 7.07% of JD.com’s shares.

Сorporations with a substantial proportion of institutional shareholders are often considered favorable investments. Large institutional shareholders conduct thorough research and analysis before investing in a stock, often involving a team of expensive analysts.

This meticulous approach means they don’t frequently buy or sell stocks hastily. As such, their investment decisions often serve as a benchmark for other potential investors.

Who is the Owner of Amazon?

As Amazon shareholders continue to change, let’s examine who the owner of Amazon was in 2023 and who owns Amazon now.

How Much of Amazon Does Jeff Bezos Own?

According to a shareholders’ meeting report, as of March 31, 1998, a year after Amazon’s initial public offering, Jeff Bezos held 41% of the total 24.16 million shares of common stock, making him the largest Amazon shareholder.

Over the next three decades, Bezos gradually reduced his ownership in Amazon to fund other ventures, including his space company Blue Origin, and for philanthropic donations. He founded two charitable organizations:

  • The Bezos Earth Fund, which supports environmental non-profits
  • The Bezos Day One Fund, which provides grants to assist homeless families and low-income communities

By 2008, his share in Amazon had decreased to 23.81% of the then 417.38 million outstanding shares or 99.32 million shares.

As of February 25, 2019, Bezos held 16% of Amazon’s total 491.75 million outstanding shares. Following his 2019 divorce from Mackenzie Scott, he transferred a 4% stake to her, leaving him with a 12.7% ownership as of February 2022.

Throughout most of 2022, Bezos maintained this level of ownership until he began aggressively selling shares in 2023.

As of December 2023, Jeff Bezos owned approximately 9.56% of Amazon, as reported by Nasdaq. This is roughly a quarter of his ownership stake in 1998. In early 2024, Bezos remains the largest Amazon shareholder, despite holding less than 10% of the company.

Who’s On Amazon’s Board of Directors & What Are Their Stakes?

Amazon’s board of directors consists of eleven members, including Bezos. Directors are elected at each Annual Meeting of Shareholders and serve until the next meeting or until their successors are elected.

In addition to Bezos and Amazon’s Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Jassy, the company has five other executive officers.

While members of Amazon’s board of directors and its officers do own company shares, their holdings are relatively minor, likely placing them towards the lower end of the list of Amazon shareholders.

However, it’s still valuable to examine who among the company’s board of directors and officers have significant ownership stakes in Amazon.

Andrew R. Jassy

Andrew Jassy has been serving as the President and CEO of Amazon since July 2021, succeeding Jeff Bezos.

Before this, he spearheaded Amazon Web Services from its inception in April 2016 until his promotion in 2021. After joining Amazon in 1993, Jassy held various roles across the company before making it to the top.

According to Yahoo Finance, Jassy owns 2.13 million shares of Amazon, representing a mere 0.02% of the company’s total outstanding stock.

Despite this seemingly small percentage, he stands as the second-largest individual investor in Amazon, next only to Bezos.

Douglas J. Herrington

Herrington has been with Amazon since 2005 and took on the CEO role of Worldwide Amazon Stores in July 2022. In this position, he oversees various segments of the company, including Amazon’s online and mobile shopping platforms and Amazon Grocery.

Herrington holds 544,894 Amazon shares, positioning him potentially as the third-largest individual shareholder in the company.

Jonathan J. Rubinstein

The former co-CEO of the global investment management firm Bridgewater Associates has been a director of Amazon since December 2010.

As a member of the board’s Security Committee, he owns 127,353 Amazon shares. Based on the closing price of January 28, 2024, these shares are valued at approximately $20.08 million.

Shelley Reynolds

Reynolds has been Vice President, Worldwide Controller, and Principal Accounting Officer at Amazon since 2007, joining the company in 2006. Before Amazon, she spent 19 years at Deloitte & Touche LLP.

As of November 20, 2023, Reynolds owned 122,436 shares in Amazon. Based on the closing price of January 28, 2024, these shares are valued at approximately $19.31 million.

Adam Selipsky

Adam Selipsky is at the helm of AWS, recognized as the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud platform. In 2016, he took a brief hiatus from Amazon to serve as the president and CEO of Tableau Software, a leader in data visualization. Selipsky returned to lead AWS after his tenure at Tableau.

According to an SEC filing, as of November 21, 2023, Selipsky owned 121,060 shares in Amazon.

Who Owns the Most Shares of Amazon?

Let’s explore who owns the most shares of Amazon, encompassing both individual and institutional investors. The analysis of Amazon’s largest shareholders is based on data compiled from various sources, including Wall Street Zen and Nasdaq.

Amazon shareholders

1. Jeff Bezos

Jeff Bezos still owns the most shares among Amazon shareholders, despite his ownership decreasing to 9.56% as of mid-November 2023, down from 41% in 1998.

Although Bezos stepped down as CEO of Amazon on July 5, 2021, he has remained actively involved in the company as its executive chair.

2. Vanguard Group Inc

Vanguard, recognized as the world’s second-largest asset manager, holds the second place in the top ten shareholders of Amazon. As of September 30, 2023, it owns 757.95 million AMZN shares, valued at $109.78 billion.

This makes Amazon Vanguard’s third-largest holding, following Apple and Microsoft.

3. Blackrock

Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, holds a significant position in Amazon. With 613.38 million shares valued at $90.18 billion, it ranks as the third-largest shareholder among Amazon’s top ten and the second-biggest institutional shareholder. These holdings represent 5.94% of Amazon’s total outstanding stock.

As of September 30, 2023, Blackrock managed assets totaling $9.1 trillion.

4. State Street Corporation

A Massachusetts-based company is a significant shareholder in Amazon. As of the latest data, State Street Corp holds 332.44 million shares of Amazon, valued at $48.15 billion.

This investment positions it as the fourth-largest owner of Amazon, representing 3.2% of the company’s outstanding stock.

Additionally, State Street Corp’s subsidiary, State Street Global Advisor, stands as the world’s fourth-largest asset manager, with AUM totaling $3.8 trillion as of June 30, 2023.

5. FMR

Fidelity Investment, headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, and formerly known as Fidelity Management & Research (FMR), holds a significant stake in Amazon.

As reported by Nasdaq, as of September 30, 2023, Fidelity owns 302.10 million shares in Amazon, valued at $44.41 billion. This represents 2.92% of Amazon’s total outstanding stock.

Fidelity is recognized as the world’s third-largest asset manager, managing $4.47 trillion in AUM as of June 30, 2023.

6. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSAX)

The Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund, established in 1992, provides investors with exposure to the entire U.S. equity market, encompassing small-, mid-, and large-cap growth and value stocks. Its top holdings include major corporations such as Apple, Microsoft, NVIDIA Corp, Alphabet Inc. Class A, and Facebook Class A.

As of October 31, 2023, the fund holds 290.66 million shares of Amazon, representing approximately 2.8% of the company, with a value of $38.68 billion.

7. Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFIAX)

The Vanguard 500 Index Fund, which tracks the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index — a highly regarded stock market benchmark in the United States — has a diversified portfolio with top holdings in major companies like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, NVIDIA Corp., Alphabet Inc. (Class A), and Facebook (Class A).

As of November 30, 2023, the fund owns 219.26 million shares of Amazon, valued at $29.18 billion. This investment represents 2.1% of Amazon’s total outstanding stock.

8. T Rowe Price Associates Inc

Founded in 1937 by Thomas Rowe Price Jr., T. Rowe Price, a global investment management firm based in Baltimore, Maryland, serves clients in over 50 countries and offers various services, including mutual funds, retirement solutions, and brokerage.

The company holds 207.78 million AMZN shares, valued at $30.09 billion, representing 2% of Amazon’s outstanding stock.

As of September 30, 2023, T. Rowe Price reported having $1.35 trillion in AUM.

9. Geode Capital Management LLC

Geode Capital Management, based in Massachusetts, holds 176.2 million shares in Amazon, with a value of $25.9 billion as of September 30, 2023. This investment accounts for 1.71% of the total outstanding stocks of the online retail giant.

As of the same date, the company reported having $1 billion in assets under management (AUM).

10. JP Morgan Chase Co

As of September 29, 2023, the New York-based multinational investment bank JP Morgan Chase Co. owns 157.13 million shares of Amazon, valued at $22.76 billion.

This stake represents 1.52% of all outstanding common stocks of Amazon.

The bank, the largest in the U.S. by market capitalization, reported assets totaling $3.9 trillion at the end of September 2023.

The Bottom Line

While Jeff Bezos remains Amazon’s top shareholder, his stake is expected to further decrease over time.

Nevertheless, as the company’s founder, Bezos will likely retain significant influence in shaping the company’s future direction.

FAQs

Does Jeff Bezos still own Amazon?

Who owns most of Amazon’s stock?

What is Jeff Bezos’s net worth?

Who owns Amazon now?

Advertisements

Related Reading

Related Terms

Advertisements
Fitri Wulandari

Fitri has over 20 years of experience in financial journalism. She has contributed to various international media outlets, including Dow Jones Newswires, Bloomberg, and Reuters, before joining Techopedia. She spent the first 15 years of her career covering commodity and energy news, later transitioning to general financial writing. These days, she conducts interviews with industry players and analysts and reports on international conferences. Fitri holds a degree in International Relations, supporting her expertise in financial journalism. She occasionally serves as a guest trainer for journalistic training and as a moderator for panel discussions.