Amazon’s Jeff Bezos pays out $38bn in divorce settlement
Ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos will become worlds fourth-richest woman but has promised to give away half of award
The worlds biggest divorce settlement will be made official this week as Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos hands over a 4% stake in the online shopping giant to his soon-to-be ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos.
A judge is expected to sign legal papers transferring the Amazon shares worth $38bn (29bn) into MacKenzie Bezoss name. It is by some distance the largest divorce settlement in history the previous record was $2.5bn paid to Jocelyn Wildenstein when she divorced art dealer Alec Wildenstein in 1999.
Following the settlement MacKenzie Bezos, 49, an author, will become the worlds fourth-richest woman, and has already promised to give away at least half of her fortune.
MacKenzie, who married Jeff in 1993, a year before he started Amazon from his garage in Seattle, has said she had a disproportionate amount of money to share and promised to work hard at giving it away until the safe is empty.
She made the declaration in a letter to the Giving Pledge, the philanthropic initiative created by the investor Warren Buffett and Microsofts principal founder, Bill Gates, to encourage the worlds richest people to commit to giving away at least half their wealth to charity.
Despite handing over the vast sum, Jeff Bezos will still be the worlds richest individual with a $118bn fortune. He has not signed up to the Giving Pledge. He has given $2bn, less than 2% of his wealth, to the Bezos Day One Fund to help address homelessness and improve education for children in low-income families.
He has congratulated his former wife in a tweet linking to her Giving Pledge letter. MacKenzie is going to be amazing and thoughtful and effective at philanthropy, and Im proud of her, he said. Her letter is so beautiful. Go get em MacKenzie.