The Most Profitable Split of All Time

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos’ $38 billion divorce

Grace Walker

Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon, and his wife MacKenzie announced their divorce in 2019 after 25 years of marriage and four children. As a part of the settlement, MacKenzie Bezos will receive 25% of the couple’s Amazon stock along with a 4% stake in the company. $19.7 million alone worth of shares and stock in Amazon was transferred to her. With these factors in mind, her total settlement will be 38 billion dollars. Bezos is the richest man in the world, with a networth of over $132 billion, and will remain so even after the settlement. 

The divorce, the news of which was broken in July via Twitter, was followed up in January by a story from the National Enquirer about  Jeff Bezos’ affair with former television news anchor Lauren Sanchez. Soon after that, the National Enquirer followed it up by releasing a slew of risque text messages Jeff Bezos sent to Sanchez, and it was also reported that he had sent her naked photos of himself and requested them of her, although those have not been released to the public. In February, Bezos posted a blog post claiming that the National Enquirer was trying to extort him by threatening to release the photos in question. Despite this story, Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos maintain their status as friends, business partners, and parents, and say that this story played no part in their split. In addition, many sources close to Jeff and MacKenzie claim that they split before Jeff’s relationship with Sanchez began. However, some people speculate the couple knew the Enquirer story was coming and they wanted to get out ahead of it, and the timing of their announcement corroborates this further. 

After the divorce was finalized, MacKenzie Bezos acquired $38 billion in addition to her stock and ownership of Amazon. This automatically makes her one of the richest women in the world, third behind Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, who gained a net worth of $44.7 billion after her mother’s passing, and Alice Walton, who has a net worth of $44.4 billion. However, as Amazon grows by the day, MacKenzie Bezos will be earning more and more as time passes. 

Although no one truly knows the role the cheating scandal played in the Bezos divorce, of if there even was any big event that caused the split, the amount of money within their marriage and subsequently being handled in the divorce has caught the attention of many. People are wondering what the divorce means for the future of Amazon as a company, despite the Bezos’ statement that everything in their lives will remain the same with the exception of their marital status. With Amazon’s brightest days ahead of them, it will be interesting to see the impact of the divorce on the company as the drama settles down in the beginning of the new year.