As the terms of MacKenzie Bezos’ divorce from Amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos become public, we’re learning more about what assets she will take in the split. As of April 5, 2019, MacKenzie Bezos now has a place on this list of the world’s richest women.
Much of the world’s wealth depends on a constantly fluctuating stock market; these are the 40 richest women on Earth, according to the 2019 Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.
MacKenzie Bezos, a Princeton graduate who is now a novelist, did accounting for Amazon for its first year after it was founded in 1994.
The couple decided to divorce after a long period of “loving exploration” and trial separation, to remain partners in ventures and projects, according to the joint statement.
Amazon shares ended up 0.2 percent on Wednesday. The divorce should have no material impact on the company and its shares, said Tom Forte, an analyst at DA Davidson & Co.
According to Refinitiv Eikon data, MacKenzie does not hold any Amazon shares directly, while Bezos has a 16.1 percent stake worth about $130 billion. Forbes magazine now estimates his overall net worth at $137.1 billion.
Liat Sadler, a San Francisco matrimonial lawyer, noted that spouses owe a fiduciary duty to one another.
“They have duties not to waste or devalue marital resources, and to keep the value of marital property as high as possible,” she said. “I don’t think there is an issue of concern for shareholders as to what will happen to Amazon because of the divorce.”
Sadler said the main options facing the couple regarding Amazon stock were for Jeff Bezos to buy out his wife, or for MacKenzie Bezos to retain shares.
“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.
Reuters was unable to determine any further financial details of the planned divorce. “Jeff remains focused on and engaged in all aspects of Amazon,” said Drew Herdener, vice president of communications for the company. He declined to comment on how the divorce might affect the ownership stake.
MacKenzie Bezos met her husband when interviewing for a job at a New York hedge fund, according to a 2013 profile in Vogue.
The two were engaged after three months of dating and married three months after that, according to the magazine. They have four children.
Speaking at an event in Berlin last April, Jeff Bezos said his wife’s support was instrumental when he founded Amazon.
“When you have loving and supportive people in your life, like MacKenzie, my parents, my grandfather, my grandmother, you end up being able to take risks,” he said.