Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) seems to be on everyone's lips these days. The stock recently hit an all time high when the share price passed $1,000 for the first time in June, and has hovered around there since. A few weeks later it was announced it had acquired the organic grocery chain Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ: WFM) for $13.7 billion. While some investors are clenching their fists for not getting on the Amazon ride early enough, others are probably pretty happy right about now. (See also: If You Had Invested Right After Amazon's IPO )

The company was founded in July 1994 by Jeffrey Bezos, initially only as an online bookstore. As the company evolved, it began selling DVDs, CDs, and streaming music and video services. It then began offering a wide variety of products such as cloud storage, video games, software and electronics, clothing, toys and food. In fact, there are few things you can't get on Amazon. According to the company's 2016 financials, it employed approximately 341,400 people, had revenues of $136 billion and was the largest Internet-based retailer in the United States.

Per its corporate filings in May 2017, Jeff Bezos, Andrew R. Jassy, Jeffrey M. Blackburn and Jeffrey A. Wilke were its four largest individual shareholders.

Jeff Bezos

The number-one shareholder in the company, with approximately 80.8 million shares, is Amazon's chief executive officer (CEO) and founder, Jeff Bezos. Bezos was born in 1964 in Albuquerque, New Mexico and studied computer science and electrical engineering at Princeton University. Upon graduating, Bezos went to work for the Wall Street firm D.E. Shaw, becoming the youngest senior vice president in its history. He left the company and started Amazon in 1994, initially setting up the company in his garage in Seattle. After Bezos and a few employees wrote the software for Amazon, the company began to make $20,000 per week, selling products in 45 different countries. In September 2000, Bezos also founded an aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight company called Blue Origin. In 2013, Bezos paid $250 million for the Washington Post. On July 27, 2017, Jeff Bezos surpassed Bill Gates as the world's richest man intraday trading with a net worth of over $90 billion.

Andrew R. Jassy

With over 74,000 shares, Andrew R. Jassy is Amazon's second-largest individual shareholder. Jassy is the CEO of Amazon Web Services, a subsidiary of Amazon that offers various cloud computing services across the globe. Before Jassy became the CEO of Amazon Web Services on April 13, 2016, he served as senior vice president of the group. With a team of 57 people, Jassy founded Amazon Web Services in 2003 and helped it grow into a $6 billion company with 1 million users in 190 different countries. He attended Harvard University, earning a bachelor's degree and master's of business administration (MBA). Prior to joining Amazon, he worked at Coupa Software Inc. and founded a marketing consulting company, serving as its manager.

Jeffrey M. Blackburn

Jeffrey M. Blackburn is the senior vice president of business development and digital entertainment, and has been at the company since 1998. He is also the head of Amazon's M&A, investments and strategic business development worldwide. Blackburn is the third-largest individual shareholder with his 47,000 shares. Prior to joining Amazon he was an associate at both Deutche Bank and Morgan Stanley in Silicon Valley. At Deutche he worked on Amazon's IPO. He holds his undergraduate degree from Darthmouth College and an MBA from Stanford University. 

Tom Alberg

Tom Alberg was an early investor in Amazon, and has been a director there since 1996, the year before it went public. He is also a co-founder and managing director and partner of Madrone Investment Partners — a Seattle-based venture capital firm. As of May, 2017, he held over 30,000 shares of Amazon, which makes him the fourt-largest individual shareholder. Alberg holds a bachelor's degree in international affairs from Harvard University, and later attended Colombia Law School.





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