Billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has announced his company will donate $690,000 to bush fire relief efforts in Australia. 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.”
Critics felt that the Amazon CEO, whose personal net worth is estimated to be more than $110 billion, could have done better. The figure was derided by some online, with people comparing the sum with Bezos’ net worth.
“This is approximately 0.00059% of his fortune,” Twitter user Brian Merchant pointed out. “He is effectively donating 4.6 minutes of money,” another user Reina Sultan noted.
“Agree anything helps. However, when you and your [sic] the world’s richest person only donate .00006% of your worth, it’s [what] makes you cheap,” wrote one commentator under the Bezos post. “It’s more of PR move in his part. Celebrities with far less money donated more.”
Bezos’ Instagram account linked to a blog post on Amazon’s site that outlined three different ways the company would be allocating funds and resources to provide aid to support the victims of the Australian wildfires that have killed at least 27 people, torched more than 2,000 homes and burned an area larger than the state of Indiana since last September.
Bezos has a net worth of $116.7 billion, according to Forbes, and according to a 2019 Business Insider analysis, he was earning almost $9 million an hour in 2018. Amazon.com Inc. has a market capitalization of more than $930 billion.
The corporation’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.
Other high-profile donations so far have included a $3 million pledge from Leonardo DiCaprio, whose net worth is $260 million. One Instagram model says she’s raised more than $1 million by selling nude photos in exchange for donations.
Here’s some of the commentary on Twitter:
Lmao Jeff Bezos just rounded up on his purchase to donate to The Fires https://t.co/WAJbUt7n20
— Melanie Schmitz (@MelsLien) January 13, 2020
This feels like the equivalent of me donating a $5 dollar bill I found in a pair of jeans https://t.co/62TKogKmez
— Lindsey Wasson (@lindseywasson) January 12, 2020
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) January 12, 2020
Let's put this in perspective . Nick Cave donated $500,000 and Jeff Bezos donated $690,000 pic.twitter.com/dYAltFe0OW
— Ryan (@daftpuck) January 12, 2020
Pink is worth 1/100th or less than Bezos and she gave 500k. Yes I’m charity shaming @JeffBezos
— ᒪᗩᗪY O'GᗩGᗩ (@holleyr) January 12, 2020
Are we supposed to be impressed? https://t.co/j2gYaTtN3s
— Markos Moulitsas (@markos) January 13, 2020
choose your fighter pic.twitter.com/19n1euu4r8
— jordan (@JordanUhl) January 12, 2020
Kylie Jenner is donating a million. She's worth several billion less than Bezos. https://t.co/sdl4MyoQ4H
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) January 12, 2020
Very kind of the world's richest man to donate slightly more than P!nk but less than Thor https://t.co/GyMkoMjtzj
— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) January 12, 2020
He spent $10 million on a Super Bowl ad last year… https://t.co/FZbRgcaBgh
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) January 12, 2020
The instagram chick who gave out nudes raised more than this guys. https://t.co/BO2R29Qbbm
— Nick Palmisciano (@Ranger_Up) January 13, 2020
Elton John donated $1 million
Chris Hemsworth donated $1 million
Kylie Jenner donated $1 million for fucks sake
— Danny Ocean (@The_UnSilent_) January 13, 2020
In the first half of 2018 Jeff was making about $191,000 per minute – so this is less than four minutes'pay for him. https://t.co/h4PHd5qOH3
— Philip O'Connor (@philipoconnor) January 12, 2020
The CEOs of tech giants Apple and Google have also publicly responded to the crisis in Australia.