Economy

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos announce they are getting a divorce

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos announce they are getting a divorce

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, are to divorce after a 25-year marriage.

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced via Twitter on Wednesday that he and his wife MacKenzie are divorcing.

Tabloid newspaper Enquirer tweeted that it had planned to expose the real reason behind the split. Whitesell and Sanchez married in 2005, and sources told the New York Post that they separated in the fall.

The couple married in 1993 after they met at hedge fund DE Shaw in NY, where they both worked. They have four children together.

Last January, the couple donated $33 million to fund college scholarships for USA high schoolers with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, an Obama-era program protecting young immigrants brought to the United States illegally by their parents.

MacKenzie Bezos, 48, is an author who grew up in San Francisco, according to a 2013 profile in Vogue magazine.

So, theoretically MacKenzie could claim up to $64.5 billion worth of Amazon-related assets plus half of Bezos' other property from the divorce.

MacKenzie's presence with the company faded in later years. She has also appeared as a guest co-host on The View. The couple quit their jobs in 1994 and moved to Seattle, Washington. In practice, though, it's unlikely MacKenzie would force her husband to write a check that big, because the couple still have some common business interests. The 54-year-old owns roughly 16% of the business in addition to owning the Washington Post and rocket company Blue Origin.

A divorce could reshape the wealth rankings. Bezos eclipsed Gates in October 2017. Jeffrey Commerce, the world's richest person with a net worth of around $137B, said that he and his ex will "remain friends".

"If she trusts that he would manage Amazon well, either he should pay her for her share of the stock, or they could enter a more complicated agreement where she keeps stock and he keeps voting rights", she said. "It's not going to be made public".

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Reports in the United States claimed shares in Amazon dropped shortly after the couple announced they were parting ways after a quarter of a decade.

A different source said Bezos and Sanchez have been spotted spending more and more time together in recent months.

An equal division of such a fortune would be unprecedented. The duo also have significant interests in the company and various stakes.

Oil industry magnate Harold Hamm's separation from Sue Ann Arnall was far messier.

If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would it all again. Arnall later sought to reopen the case but the Oklahoma Supreme Court dismissed the appeal in 2015.

But a lot also depends on if the couple has signed a prenuptial agreement.

Amazon was worth $797bn (£634bn) when the United States stock market closed on Monday, after rising 3.4% and moving past Microsoft, valued at $789bn.

"They have a mutual interest in making sure that no one is concerned that the ship has sprung a leak", he said. Here's everything you need to know about Lauren Sanchez.

When rich people go through divorce proceedings, the settlements can be expensive.