The Most Expensive Divorce Settlement in History
A few months ago, we outlined that Jeff Bezos, considered the wealthiest person in modern history, was facing a divorce. Considering his personal fortune and his claim as the richest man in the world, the divorce settlement which followed was lining up to be the largest on record as well. Now that the divorce has been finalized, what was the outcome?
MacKenzie Bezos shared information on the settlement publicly via Twitter, likely to get in front of any potential rumor mongering. As of this writing, it’s her only public Tweet.
She said that she surrendered 75% of the couple’s shared Amazon stock, or in other words, she keeps a quarter of it. Bezos owned a 16% stake in Amazon. After this, he will have a 12% stake, and MacKenzie Bezos will retain a 4% stake. MacKenzie’s Amazon’s stock is currently valued at about $35 billion.
That doesn’t total the theoretical 50-50 stake of Bezo’s fortune, however, it’s nothing to downplay. It is, indeed, the largest and most expensive divorce settlement in history. With MacKenzie’s new $35 billion of Amazon stock, she immediately ascends the list to become the 3rd wealthiest woman in the world.
As for Bezos, he’s still worth nearly $110 billion, and retains his title as the world’s wealthiest person. Reports also indicate that Bezos will retain the voting rights for both his shares as well as MacKenzie’s.
In her original Twitter post, MacKenzie also indicated that she relinquished her interests in The Washington Post and in Blue Origin, Bezos’s space exploration company. The couple had been married for 25 years, going back to the year of Amazon’s founding. MacKenzie was also on the books as Amazon’s first employee.
One of the biggest looming questions about the Bezos divorce case was not only what the final dollar figure would show, but also whether there would be any impact on Amazon and its future. By retaining a 12% ownership stake in the company, and the voting rights of the full 16% he originally owned, Bezos and Amazon seem well-positioned to avoid any turmoil. While relinquishing $35 billion might not make anyone happy, to be able to do so and still end up as the world’s richest person isn’t a terrible day, either.