After being married to Jeff Bezos for 25 years, MacKenzie Bezos is expected to walk away with a divorce payout of nearly $38 billion this week after the settlement she reached with her soon-to-be ex is rubber-stamped by a judge. This roughly translates into $1.52 billion for every year she was married to the Amazon CEO and chairman.
Per their divorce settlement reached in April, MacKenzie will get 25 percent of the couple’s joint Amazon stock, or 19.7 million shares. On the last trading day in June, the shares were worth $37.3 billion at a price of $1,892 a share. Together they owned around 16 percent of Amazon which is approximately 78.8 million shares.
Since Jeff Bezos announced the divorce at the beginning of the year, the Amazon stock has appreciated by around 14 percent. The online retail giant is now the second-largest company by market capitalization after Microsoft.
What happens to Jeff Bezos now?
Even after the divorce is rubber-stamped Jeff Bezos will retain 59.1 million shares of Amazon. These shares are currently worth nearly $112 billion. With the co-founder of Microsoft Bill Gates currently worth $107 billion per Bloomberg, the Amazon CEO’s tenure as the world’s richest person is safe by a margin of $5 billion.
Additionally, the Amazon CEO will not lose control of the e-commerce giant despite now owning fewer shares. This is because despite his soon-to-be ex-wife walking away with a 4 percent stake in Amazon, she has voluntarily ceded her voting rights to Jeff Bezos. She also announced in April that she had given her soon-to-be ex-husband her interests in space firm Blue Origin and in the Washington Post newspaper:
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 (@mackenziebezos) April 4, 2019
MacKenzie plots her future
The Bezos’ divorce settlement will make MacKenzie the world’s 22nd richest person and the third-richest woman in the world after the French heiress to the L’Oreal beauty empire Francoise Bettencourt-Meyers and Alice Walton, the only daughter of Walmart’s founder, Sam Walton. But depending on how quickly she makes good her promise to donate at least half of her fortune to charity, MacKenzie, who is a novelist, is not likely to be the third-richest woman for long.
In late May, MacKenzie signed the Giving Pledge which was initiated by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to encourage philanthropy among the world’s richest people. Jeff Bezos is interestingly the lone billionaire among the world's top six not to have signed the charity initiative.
Then, she stated that she had a ‘disproportionate amount of money to share’. She promised to keep giving ‘until the safe is empty’. Well, the safe that needs emptying will be placed in her hands this week after the world’s most expensive divorce settlement is concluded.