In the second week of 2019, Amazon toppled Microsoft to become the most valuable company in the world. While many at the time thought the world could never have been better for its founders, the news then broke about Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie’s divorce.
Why this is a very big deal is because the two have not only been business partners for a long time, but they have been married for 25 years and the end of the marriage may lead to the most expensive marriage settlement ever, while also taking Bezos off as the richest man in the world. Here is all to know about their life together and divorce.
The Relationship of Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie
The first time that Jeff and MacKenzie who is a novelist met was in 1992 when they were both in their twenties, working at D. E. Shaw. Only months after they met, the two got engaged and in 1993, they got married. In 1994, Jeff and MacKenzie left New York for Seattle where they settled in a one-room apartment as Bezos founded Amazon with the help of MacKenzie.
The union has produced three boys and a daughter who they adopted years ago from China.
Although Jeff settled on expanding his business and starting new ones as he kept investing in opportunities and MacKenzie settled on writing books, the two had a shared interest in philanthropy, something that has seen them spend billions of dollars. In 2018, they founded the Day One Fund, a charity project together.
Even after the billion-dollar divorce, the couple indicated that they would still remain friends and they may continue their charity projects together.
Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie’s Divorce
Three days to his 55th birthday, Jeff Bezos took to his Twitter handle to release a statement which was jointly signed with Mackenzie to announce that after 25 years of being together, the two have decided to get a divorce. According to the couple, they were both lucky to have found each other and given the same opportunity, they would get married again even if told they would separate after 25 years.
The richest couple in the world said it had undergone a long period of love exploration and trail separation before finally deciding that ending the union would be in their best interest.
Reason Behind the Divorce
While no official reason was given for the separation, TMZ reported that it was as a result of a relationship that Jeff Bezos has started towards the end of 2018 with American TV host, Lauren Sánchez who is now described as the woman behind what would be the most expensive divorce. Sources have revealed that Bezos and Lauren who was born in 1969 have been spending a lot of time together and attending social events.
Before her alleged relationship with the Amazon CEO, Lauren Sanchez was married to Patrick Whitesell. Nonetheless, the two have also been separated since 2018 and are also heading for a divorce. Interestingly, Jeff and Mackenzie have been friends with Lauren and Patrick for up to a decade and both families have homes in Seattle.
Apart from being a TV host, Lauren is also an actress, entrepreneur, producer, and a helicopter pilot who has her own helicopter. She has been married since 2005 to Patrick although she also has a child with former NFL star Tony Gonzalez.
The implication of the Divorce
In the early 1990s when Jeff and Mackenzie got married, the idea of prenup was not a thing that was popular. Even if it was, there is a very slim chance that the two would have signed any since Jeff was not a very rich man at the time.
Without a prenup, Mackenzie Bezos may end up taking away as much as half of all the assets of Jeff Bezos which means that she may have 8% of the shares of Amazon since Jeff has 16%. With a net worth that has been estimated at $132 billion as of January 2019, Mackenzie may be going away with more than $60 billion.
The implication of this is that while the Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie’s divorce may see Jeff losing his spot as the richest man in the world to Bill Gates who has $90 billion, it may see the rise of MacKenzie as the richest woman in the world, a spot currently occupied by Alice Walton who has a net worth of $46 billion.