Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced Thursday that the location of his company's second headquarters would be revealed by the end of the year. The wealth that Bezos has amassed hasn't come without controversy, as many critics point to poor working conditions at his facilities while others say he doesn't do enough for the public good.
Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, pledged $US2 billion on Thursday for a new fund to start preschools and help homeless families.
To raise awareness about childhood cancer, which is the second leading cause of death in the United States between kids aged 4 and 14, Amazon's Jeff Bezos wore pajamas to a meeting on Wednesday.
Bezos and his company are frequent targets of criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump and, more recently, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who's made the billionaire a symbol of income inequality when pushing for better wages for workers and fewer government benefits for companies. Amazon warehouse employees are known to have bad working conditions, pitiful wages, and have even been forced into homelessness after workplace injuries.
Discussing the preschools he would be funding, Bezos said he would focus on children the way Amazon does its customers. Most important among those will be genuine, intense customer obsession.
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The second will launch a network of "high-quality, full-scholarship" preschools in low-income communities, which a Day One Fund organization will directly operate.
Seattle, where Amazon has its headquarters, has been plagued by the rising number of homeless residents for the past several years.
Bezos said he selected these two areas after getting thousands of ideas from an appeal he launched on Twitter previous year.
Bezos hasn't said how much he'll be contributing to the fund in coming years.
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Bezos's wealth has allowed him to pay for side ventures, including starting space exploration company Blue Origin and buying the Washington Post newspaper.
With a personal fortune of $163.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the Amazon.com Inc. chief executive officer had previously been largely invisible in the world of philanthropy. However, he said it is unsafe for politicians to "demonize the media".
"We will have to leave this planet, and we're going to leave it", Bezos previously told GeekWire, "and it's going to make this planet better".
Bezos, with an estimated fortune of more than $160 billion, is now the world's wealthiest man, according to Forbes. "We will build an organization to directly operate these schools", he added.
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