Jeff Bezos has pledged to give away “most” of his $116 billion fortune in his lifetime, but when it comes to signing the Giving Pledge, the Amazon founder is staying mum.
The commitment, which in 2010 launched by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, is a campaign to encourage billionaires from a variety of industries to commit to giving away at least half of their wealth to charity during their lifetime.
Notably, it’s a non-binding commitment: its founders describe it as a “moral commitment,” and critics say its loose rules aren’t enforceable. So far, 236 billionaires have signed it, including Gates and Buffett, as well as Elon Musk and Bezos’ ex-wife MacKenzie Scott.
But Bezos, whose recent announcement follows years of criticism for his relative lack of philanthropic giving, isn’t the only billionaire who hasn’t signed the pledge. It’s missing the signatures of seven of the world’s 11 richest people, according to this week’s Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
None of the seven responded to CNBC Make It’s request for comment.
Here’s who they are and what their philanthropic efforts have looked like so far.
Bernard Arnault: $157 billion net worth
Bernard Arnault is the founder and CEO of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH and the second-richest person in the world, according to Bloomberg.
In the past, the French billionaire’s net worth was close to $200 billion. He has repeatedly topped Bloomberg’s list of the world’s richest people, most recently in 2021.
Arnault has not signed the pledge and has not publicly commented on the pledge. There are no public records showing how much Arnault has donated to charity.
However, LVMH released a statement online highlighting the company’s philanthropic mission and noting that the Arnault family’s 2019 donated 226 million
Gautam Adani: $130 billion net worth
Gautam Adani is the Chairman and Founder of the Adani Group, one of India’s largest industrial conglomerates. According to Bloomberg, he is the richest person in India and third richest in the world.
Since this time last year, his net worth has nearly doubled as his company has made a series of acquisitions to expand into industries such as coal and transportation.
In the past year, he has also stepped up his philanthropic efforts: in June. he pledged to donate $7.7 billion to his Adani Foundation, the philanthropic arm of his company that supports social causes in India such as education and healthcare programs.
Jeff Bezos: $116 billion net worth
According to Forbes, Bezos has donated more than $2.4 billion during his lifetime. He also pledged to distribute a total of $10 billion through his climate nonprofit, the Bezos Earth Fund.
But the billionaire has dodged questions about the Giving Pledge for years, especially after his ex-wife Scott signed it shortly after their 2019 divorce.
Scott became one of America’s most famous philanthropists. Bezos’ critics are still waiting for him to provide more concrete details on how he intends to distribute his vast fortune to charitable causes.
Without those details, it’s hard to analyze how his announcement last week differed from signing the Giving Pledge, and why he made such a similar commitment without joining many of his fellow tech billionaires.
Larry Page: $88.7 billion net worth
in 2014 Google founder Larry Page has said he has no plans to leave all of his wealth to his two children. He also made no commitment to leave his net worth to charity.
Instead, the billionaire said in a TED interview that he would rather give most of his wealth to entrepreneurs with big ideas to change the world for the better. At the time, Page cited Elon Musk as one example: “He wants to get to Mars. That’s a worthy goal.”
in 2019 Vox reported that Page has since 2004 donated more than 2 billion to his philanthropic foundation.
Mukesh Ambani: $88.2 billion net worth
Mukesh Ambani, the ninth richest person in the world, is the chairman of Reliance Industries, an energy and telecommunications conglomerate and India’s most valuable company.
He was recently named one of India’s most generous philanthropists by research group Hurun India, as earlier in 2022 donated more than 50 million to charity.
in 2010 Ambani founded the Reliance Foundation, the philanthropic arm of his company and one of India’s largest non-profit organizations. The foundation focuses on initiatives that provide health care and education scholarships, as well as agricultural infrastructure in rural farming communities, according to its website.
Steve Ballmer: $86.3 billion net worth
Steve Ballmer’s absence from the Giving Pledge may come as a surprise: he was one of Microsoft’s earliest employees and became president and Gates’ right-hand man until his retirement in 2000. replaced his friend as CEO. The bulk of Ballmer’s wealth is his 4% stake in Microsoft.
But Ballmer said he and Gates have “fallen apart” since he left the company in 2014, which may explain why he didn’t sign the pledge Gates created.
Today, Ballmer is the chairman of the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers, which he purchased in 2014. He’s also quite active in philanthropy: he and his wife, Connie, run the non-profit Ballmer Group, which has given more than $420 million. USD of charitable grants. over the past year, according to the group’s website.
Sergey Brin: $84.9 billion net worth
Like the other Google co-founder Page, Sergey Brin did not sign the Giving Pledge. The 11th richest person in the world, Brin has not spoken publicly about the pledge or how much he plans to give away in his lifetime.
Brin has previously donated money to various causes, including the STEM-focused education nonprofit Girls Who Code and a reported $63 million earlier this year. $ gift to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which funds research into a cure for Parkinson’s disease.
in 2009 Brin also donated $1 million to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the organization that helped him and his family escape the Soviet Union and immigrate to the United States when he was a child.
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