Jeff Bezos and his spouse, MacKenzie, will divorce after 25 years of marriage, the couple introduced on Wednesday morning. They didn’t present a cause for his or her separation.
“We have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends,” they stated within the assertion, which was posted to Jeff Bezos’ Twitter web page. “If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again.”
Bezos, value an estimated $136.2 billion, is the richest individual on the planet. It will not be but clear how the divorce will affect his internet value, or whether or not it should have an effect on his stake in Amazon, the e-commerce large he based in 1994. Bezos, 54, owns roughly 16% of the enterprise, which includes greater than 95% of his fortune. He additionally owns the Washington Post and rocket firm Blue Origin.
The couple lives primarily in Washington State, which requires divorcing spouses to equitably divide “community property,” together with all revenue generated throughout a wedding. “It seems very likely, if not 100% a certainty, that whatever Jeff Bezos has earned at Amazon has been community income,” says David Starks, a accomplice on the Seattle-based regulation agency McKinley Irvin. He added, nonetheless, that by a prenuptial or postnuptial settlement, “You can elect to have your assets treated differently, and that’s not uncommon.”
Moreover, “Awarding a spouse their share of a community asset doesn’t necessarily mean actually transferring the asset to them,” notes Virginia Onu, an lawyer primarily based in Washington. In different phrases, as an alternative of promoting or transferring Amazon shares, Jeff Bezos may provide financial compensation equal to the shares’ honest market worth.
If MacKenzie Bezos, 48, does certainly obtain half of her husband’s property, she can be value greater than $68 billion, making her the fifth-richest individual on the planet. Even a 1% payout would represent one of many largest divorce settlements in historical past.
The Bezoses, who’ve 4 youngsters, each attended Princeton however met after commencement whereas working at funding agency D.E. Shaw; she was an affiliate on his crew. They married in 1993 and moved to Seattle in 1994, the identical yr Amazon was based.
MacKenzie Bezos boasts a profitable profession in her personal proper. A artistic writing main at Princeton (she served as a analysis assistant to Toni Morrison), she received the American Book Award for her first novel, The Testing of Luther Albright, revealed in 2005. She additionally based the anti-bullying group Bystander Revolution.
A consultant for Amazon didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
Angel Au-Yeung contributed reporting.