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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to keep 75% of his stock in divorce

Apr 04 2019 20:11
Spencer Soper, Bloomberg

Amazon's Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos will retain 75% of his stock in the company following his divorce from MacKenzie Bezos, to whom he has been married for 25 years, the couple announced Thursday on Twitter.

Bezos will remain the largest shareholder of the e-commerce giant valued at almost $900 billion as well as gaining voting control of his former wife’s remaining shares. Bezos will also maintain ownership of The Washington Post and his space exploration company Blue Origin.

“Grateful to have finished the process of dissolving my marriage with Jeff with support from each other and everyone who reach out to us in kindness,” MacKenzie Bezos wrote 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.”

MacKenzie Bezos retains 4% of Amazon, according to a filing Thursday. Amazon shares dipped less than 1% at 13:38 in New York. 

The Bezoses announced their divorce in January, not long before the National Enquirer tabloid newspaper published an expose that Jeff Bezos had been having a relationship with Lauren Sanchez, a former TV anchor. The announcement sparked speculation about how their exceptional wealth, estimated at more than $130 billion, would be divided. Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest person and will remain in that position after the divorce, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos met in New York at DE Shaw. Jeff was the first person to interview MacKenzie for a role at the hedge fund and the pair ended up having offices next to each other, according to a 2013 interview with Vogue. They married in 1993 and a year later drove across the country to Seattle, where Jeff founded Amazon. They have four children.

MacKenzie, an author, played a significant role at the company in the early years, but her presence faded in later years. Most high-ranking employees saw her at social events the couple hosted at their Medina, Washington, home and elsewhere. They’d also be spotted at Lakeside, a Seattle private school, with their children. When Amazon showcased its new biospheres, the plant-filled architectural centerpiece of its Seattle headquarters, the couple toured the building with a horticulturist. MacKenzie also accompanied her husband to Hollywood events after Amazon began a concerted push into video and original programming.

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