The world’s richest couple revealed the terms of their divorce on Thursday as Jeff and McKenzie Bezos – seen as the “parents” of the global online retail giant and media company Amazon – wrapped up their painful split.
MacKenzie, now the ex-wife of Amazon’s founder and chief executive officer Jeff, will give 75% of their stake in the company and all voting rights to the billionaire entrepreneur.
Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world. The agreement does not make McKenzie the richest woman in the world, as speculation has suggested it might. She will have to get along on the proceeds of her stake, estimated at $36bn at current market prices.
The settlement would make her the fourth-richest woman in the world. She ranks behind Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, Alice Walton and Jacqueline Mars, according to Bloomberg.
As part of the terms of their divorce, MacKenzie Bezos will also relinquish all her interests in the Washington Post newspaper, which her then husband snapped up for a mere $250m in a surprise deal in 2013, and rocket company Blue Origin, she said in a tweet on Thursday.
— MacKenzie Bezos (@mackenziebezos) April 4, 2019
In a separate statement, Jeff Bezos shared his gratitude to his ex-wife.
“I’m grateful for her support and for her kindness in this process and am very much looking forward to our new relationship as friends and co-parents,” Bezos said.
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) April 4, 2019
While other founders and CEOs have gotten divorces, most had met their spouses after acquiring their wealth. MacKenzie Bezos, on the other hand, reportedly played a significant role laying Amazon’s roots.
In an oft-cited origin story, MacKenzie drove the pair from New York to Seattle while Jeff wrote Amazon’s business plan. MacKenzie eventually negotiated Amazon’s first freight contracts, according to Wired.