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For most people, losing a tenner is enough to ruin their day. To be honest, losing any amount of money is devastating – never mind a tenner.
But Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, probably wouldn’t notice a missing tenner. He would, however, notice the loss of $68 billion.
Which is how much he could be losing in his divorce with wife MacKenzie – that is, if a prenup doesn’t exist.
Bezos made the announcement today (January 9) that he and wife MacKenzie would be divorcing after 25 years of marriage, despite periods of ‘loving exploration and trial separation’.
Addressing his 719K Twitter followers, the Amazon CEO made clear that the separation was amicable by saying the couple would remain friends.
He simply posted a screenshot of a letter, signed by ‘Jeff & Mackenzie’, which explained the couple’s decision to go their separate ways.
We want to make people aware of a development in our lives. As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends.
We feel incredibly lucky to have found each other and deeply grateful for every one of the years we have been married to each other. If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again.
We’ve had such a great life together as a married couple, and we also see wonderful futures ahead, as parents, friends, partners in ventures and projects, and as individuals pursuing ventures and adventures.
The letter continued:
Though the labels might be different, we remain a family, and we remain cherished friends.
Jeff & MacKenzie
The couple met in New York when Jeff was vice president of a hedge fund and he interviewed MacKenzie for a job.
The pair married in 1993 – just six months after they met – and quit their Wall Street jobs to move to Seattle, where Jeff opened an online bookstore which was the beginning of Amazon.
MacKenzie has her own success story though; she’s a novelist who won an American Book Award in 2006 for her book, The Testing of Luther Albright, and is the founder and executive director of the anti-bullying organisation Bystander Revolution.
So where does this leave the couple in terms of splitting the money they have earned? Well, they live in Washington, which is a community property state, meaning any assets will have to be split 50/50.
Which, if we break their assets down, is a lot of money; according to Forbes, Jeff has a net worth of $136.4 billion, making him the richest man in the world. Split in two, that means MacKenzie could be set to get a massive $68.2 billion from the divorce.
Now, this isn’t set in stone because it’s not known whether a prenup exists between the couple. However, it’s thought that there isn’t one, primarily because Jeff didn’t become a millionaire until 1997 – four years after he married MacKenzie.
However, CNBC report that according to divorce attorneys, it is highly unlikely MacKenzie will push for a settlement that would require Jeff to sell shares of the company, as she will want the family fortune to grow.
So while it may be uncertain what will happen next, I’ll leave you with this little fact: up to date, the costliest known divorce sits at $3.8 billion, and belongs to art dealer Alec Wildenstein and his ex-wife Jocelyn Wildenstein.
Really puts that $68 billion into perspective, doesn’t it?
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