MacKenzie Bezos is now the world’s third-richest woman
Speculation about the amount of money (and Amazon stock) that Jeff Bezos’s ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos will walk away with has come to an end. Just as the couple did when they announced their divorce in January, MacKenzie Bezos released the details of the settlement on Twitter.
“Happy to be giving him all of my interests in the Washington Post and Blue Origin, and 75% of our Amazon stock plus voting control of my shares to support his continued contributions with the teams of these incredible companies,” she wrote on April 4.
That means MacKenzie will retain 25 percent of the couple’s stake in Amazon, thereby making her worth around $35 billion and the world’s third-wealthiest woman. An SEC filing posted Thursday showed that though that she granted Jeff voting control of her shares, MacKenzie will own about 4 percent of the company.
Those concerned, for whatever reason, that Jeff Bezos’s divorce would mean the end of his tenure as the richest man in the world (MacKenzie and Jeff did not have a prenuptial agreement) no longer have to worry — he’s still worth $110 billion, according to Forbes, while Microsoft founder Bill Gates is the world’s second-richest person, at nearly $100 billion.
The divorce is also officially the “most expensive in history,” beating out that of art dealer Alec Wildernstein and socialite Jocelyn Wildenstein, the latter of whom left with $2.5 billion when the couple divorced in 1999.
But portraying MacKenzie as the lucky woman who gets to keep a huge portion of Jeff Bezos’s unprecedented wealth obfuscates MacKenzie’s role in the early days of Amazon. As Wired notes, she kept track of the books and negotiated Amazon’s first freight contracts, which helped the company when it was then still headquartered in a suburban garage.
MacKenzie and Jeff Bezos split after 25 years of marriage on January 9, in what Vox’s Anna North called an example of the “aggressively amicable” celebrity divorce, in which famous former couples “seem almost expected to trumpet their friendliness after their marriage dissolves.” (Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s 2014 “conscious uncoupling” is the Platonic ideal of such divorces.)
Despite the tabloid messiness, which included leaked text messages between Jeff Bezos and his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez, MacKenzie’s statement on Twitter, which uses the words “happy,” “excited,” and “grateful” (twice, actually) is an example of how both she and Jeff are have put on a show of strength, likely for Amazon’s sake — which both parties have explicit business interests in.
Another not-entirely-surprising consequence of MacKenzie’s announcement: thirsty reply guys. As Mel Magazine’s Miles Klee dutifully compiled, cascades of men are now attempting to woo the world’s third-richest woman on Twitter. “Can I take you out on a date? You need you time!” offered one, while another simply declared, “im single.” These, however, are at least slightly better pickup lines than “I love you, alive girl.”
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