By: Yassmine ElSayed
CAIRO, Jan. 11 (SEE) – Billionaire Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon.com Inc, and wife MacKenzie Bezos, announced their divorce after 25 years of marriage, which will eventually makes his ex-wife one of the richest persons on earth, following her ex-husband.
A joint statement posted on twitter on Wednesday, revealed that the couple decided to divorce after a long period of “loving exploration” and trial separation, and expect to continue as partners in joint ventures and projects.
Bezos, 54, is the world’s richest person, with a fortune that has soared to more than $160 billion ($137 billion) thanks to his stake in Amazon, which again became Wall Street’s most valuable company this week, surpassing Microsoft Inc.
On his part, President Donald Trump had a few words for Amazon head Bezos following news of impending divorce.
“I wish him luck,It’s going to be a beauty.” Trump said outside the White House to reporters who asked yesterday about the personal headlines swirling around Bezos.
According to business insider, Bezos may soon have someone familiar looking over his shoulder when it comes to running Amazon and having a substantial say about it: his soon-to-be ex-wife.
As nearly all of his $137 billion net worth is in the form of his stock in Amazon, it’s highly likely she will end up with a substantial stake in the company as part of any separation agreement. If that’s the case, there’s a good chance that Mackenzie could end up having the biggest stake in the company other than Bezos.
Should Bezos have to give half of his shares to MacKenzie — a not unthinkable outcome, especially if they didn’t have a prenup — her 39 million or so shares would give her an 8% stake in the company and vault her over Vanguard.
Though she could opt for cash instead — which would force Bezos to sell off tens of millions of shares — or immediately turn around and sell the shares herself, it’s likely she’ll choose to hold on to her shares instead, legal experts said.
If MacKenzie chose to sell — or forced him to — “the stock would go way down,” experts added.
The reasons MacKenzie could end up with such a huge stake in Amazon have a lot do with where the Bezoses’ divorce proceedings are likely to occur.
Though the Bezoses have dwellings in different areas of the country, they’re likely to file for divorce in Washington state, legal experts said. They have a home in the Seattle area, where Amazon has its headquarters, and have lived there for most of their marriage, said Deirdre Bowen, an associate professor of law at Seattle University’s School of Law.