As MacKenzie Bezos and Jeff Bezos, parents of Amazon.com, have decided to split after 25 years of marriage, she might become the world’s wealthiest women.
A share of 16 per cent in Amazon.com is ascribed to Bezos, who founded the firm in 1994 after the then-newlyweds left New York City for Seattle.
The pair jointly announced on Wednesday that they plan to divorce, a reminder that the planet’s “richest man” is one half of its richest couple.
The former couple’s announcement struck a kind tone, and offered nothing on how their wealth, estimated at $137 billion, would be divided.
“As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends,” the announcement posted on Twitter read.
“We feel incredibly lucky to have found each other and deeply grateful for every one of the years we have been married to each other. If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again.”
MacKenzie, 48, would become the world’s richest woman if she receives half the Bezos fortune. L’Oreal heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, whose net worth is estimated at $45.6 billion, currently holds that title, according to Bloomberg estimates.
The separation announcement was followed by media reports that Bezos had been romantically involved with the wife of an entertainment industry agent. What becomes of the rest of their wealth remains to be seen. Divorce plea is yet to be filed.MacKenzie, an acclaimed novelist who has four children with Jeff, met her future husband while interviewing for a research position at the Manhattan hedge fund where Jeff dreamed up Amazon.com.
In interviews, MacKenzie described theirs as an unusual match. Then 23, she was a reserved, aspiring writer working in finance to pay the bills. He was a gregarious guy six years her senior in the office next door. They married six months later, and, shortly thereafter, headed west to follow Jeff’s passion project, launching an online bookstore. “To me, you know, watching your spouse, somebody that you love have an adventure, what is better than that and being part of that? Couldn’t wait to hop in the car”, she said in 2013 interview promoting her second novel, Traps.
MacKenzie was a key player in Amazon.com’s early days in a suburban Seattle garage; according to a report, she negotiated the company’s first freight contracts from a Starbucks attached to a Barnes & Noble near their home. “I worked for Jeff at DE Shaw, I was there when he wrote the business plan, and I worked with him and many others … in the converted garage, the basement warehouse closet, the barbecue-scented offices, the Christmas-rush distribution centers, and the door-desk filled conference rooms in the early years of Amazon’s history,” she wrote.
While parenting their young family, MacKenzie continued exercising her passion: writing.