Claim to Fame: Amazon.com
Net Worth: $12.6 billion
What He’s Done: Amazon & Our Planet, among other things
The brilliant, ultra-geeky founder of Amazon is a bit of a conundrum: On one hand, it’s his intuitive sense of thrift and cost-cutting that’s made Amazon the go-to outlet for rock bottom prices on a myriad of goods. But it’s that same sense that’s also left his company open to criticism, as Slate once penned, “There are lemonade stands that donate more to charity.”
But the Seattle-based retailer has made recent strides to help improve its stingy image by doing what it does best: cutting out excess.
The most evident eco-friendly PR comes in the form of Amazon & Our Planet, which stages its practices around reducing its environmental impact by cutting waste. A failed tote-bag initiative comes to mind, but a whole list of best-practices can be found here.
As for Bezo’s himself, he’s personally donated $10 million to immunotherapy research to help combat breast, ovarian and prostate cancers, and in a more quirky display of giving, once played tennis with Anna Kournakova in Grand Central Terminal to raise money for underprivileged kids in Harlem.
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