Jeff Bezos, who founded Amazon out of his Seattle garage in 1994 and plowed billions of dollars into turning the city into a tech boomtown, said Thursday he would leave his home of three decades for Miami.
Mr. Bezos, 59, announced his action In an Instagram post Thursday night. He said his parents had recently moved back to Miami, where he attended high school, and wanted to be closer to them and his partner, Lauren Sanchez.
Another factor, he said, is that operations at his rocket company, Blue Origin, are increasingly shifting to Cape Canaveral, Fla., more than 200 miles north of Miami by road on the state’s Atlantic coast.
Bloomberg News reported last month Mr. Bezos bought a mansion in South Florida for $79 million, and a few months later bought the house next door for $68 million. According to Bloomberg, Mr. Bezos is worth $161 billion, making him the third richest man in the world.
Mr. In his Instagram post, Bezos said he had “amazing memories” of Seattle and had lived there longer than anywhere else. “As exciting as this move is, it’s an emotional decision for me,” he wrote. “Seattle, you will always have a piece of my heart.”
A summary Video Mr. Bezos posted an Instagram post with the announcement, showing him touring Amazon’s first office, a modest affair from his Seattle garage. There are a few giant white computers in the room, a dry-erase board covered with writing and a fax machine sitting atop a gray filing cabinet.
“See this big orange extension cord?” A young Mr. Bezos, dressed in jeans and in good spirits, tells his father to the cameraman at one point. “This is one of the conflicts we have to have because we don’t have enough power in this room. So we have to bring in extra circuit breakers,” he said.
“And, about that,” he says at the end of the video, over the sound of a dog barking. “It doesn’t take long to tour the offices of Amazon-dot-com Inc.”
It wasn’t immediately clear late Thursday how the people of Seattle or Miami felt about his move.
Amazon has grown over the years to become the biggest e-commerce giant, becoming the world’s largest retailer outside of China by 2021, pouring billions of dollars into Seattle’s economy and helping to transform its global reputation.
But Amazon has faced pushback from workers and regulators over its labor practices and corporate tactics. The owner of The Washington Post and the world’s largest yacht, Mr. Bezos has plenty of detractors in Seattle and beyond.
Mr. to Miami. While Bezos’ move may surprise some, it’s not unique. In fact, he can be fashionably late. In early 2021, less than a year after the coronavirus pandemic upended the daily lives of millions of Americans, The New York Times reported on Silicon Valley technologists and Wall Street titans moving to Miami.
During that time, dozens of big-name leaders moved in: Keith Rabois, PayPal co-founder and investor; Peter Thiel, tech investor and prominent conservative; John Oringer, founder of stock-photo provider Shutterstock; Brian Goldberg, media mogul and others.
Mayor Francis X. Suarez welcomed the newcomers with open arms. The rich and wealthy have long wanted to enjoy their fortunes in Miami, and on vacations, to enjoy their time on the water. In epidemics, it is not clear whether these newcomers are the latest generation to do so or whether they will actually create new institutions in the city.
Although the rush of the past three years has leveled off, demand in South Florida has remained relatively stable, real estate brokers say.