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TheStreet Open House

3 Ways Bezos Might Use Profits From Massive Sale of AMZN Shares

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- There will likely be all flavors of overreaction to the news CNBC alerted me to first Wednesday afternoon (I, unlike much of journalism 2.0, like to give my colleagues credit):

If Jeff Bezos doesn't believe in Amazon.com (AMZN - Get Report), why should the average investor!?

Feign. Outrage (and ignorance). Here.

Then look at this, courtesy of Yahoo! Finance:

If Jeff Bezos had a strand of hair for every share of AMZN he has sold over the last 10 years, the guy would have more hair than me and Jim Cramer combined.

His insider sales go way, way, way back to at least 2003, according to the SEC.

It's more interesting to consider the amount of money Bezos collects every time he sells than it is to focus on the most recent quarter's lot sizes. Rough math tells me that the 1,000,000 AMZN shares Bezos sold between Aug. 1 and Aug. 6, 2013, grossed him roughly $301 million to $302 million. That's just insane.

So what might Bezos do, if anything, with the cash?

1. Lead the charge to bring the National Hockey League to Seattle. After more Canadian franchises (Southern Ontario should be first on the list, not Quebec!), this must happen. Ideally the league won't expand; rather it will contract, removing franchises from cities that never should have received them in the first place (e.g., Phoenix), putting them in places that will actually support them ... without drama. Bezos becomes an even bigger #badass if he's viewed as the guy who landed hockey in Seattle. Not the guy who failed at shooting fish in a barrel like Jim Balsillie did in Hamilton.

2. Give more money to worthy sociopolitical causes. In the spirit of Starbucks (SBUX) excellent CEO Howard Schultz's activism and Bezos' and his wife's decision to support the gay marriage campaign in Washington State, it would be a breath of fresh air to see Bezos step out like this a little bit more. More CEOs, particularly ones who are household names and could deliver seriously powerful messages, need to step up like Schultz and Bezos have.

3. Pick up another media property or 10. Bezos led a $5 million investment in Business Insider. He dropped $250 million to buy The Washington Post. There's no question in my mind that he's not done. Why mess with a piddly investment in a Web site and a mere quarter of a million on the project of reviving a dead medium when you have the means to build a media empire. One that, other on the variable of success, doesn't look at all like Rupert Murdoch's?

-- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Rocco Pendola is a columnist and TheStreet's Director of Social Media. Pendola makes frequent appearances on national television networks such as CNN and CNBC as well as TheStreet TV. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.

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