The world's richest man is getting divorced

The world's richest man is getting divorced

The world's richest man is getting divorced

Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie announced their decision today in a joint statement put out on the Amazon chief executive's Twitter account.

Social media have been rocked by news about the world's richest man, Jeff Bezos, announcing his divorce.

"Though the labels might be different, we remain a family, and we remain cherished friends".

According to the statement, the two will remain "partners in ventures and projects".

She was one of the first employees of Amazon at its founding and in 2014 launched Bystander Revolution, an anti-bullying organization.

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A one-third Bezos stake worth $45.7 billion would vault her ahead of l'Oreal heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, worth $45.6 billion, and Walmart heiress Alice Walton, worth $43.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. According to Wired, she handled some of the firm's first freight contracts while working at a Barnes & Noble bookstore - a company which would eventually face intense and overpowering competition from Amazon itself.

Jeff and MacKenzie have four children together - three sons and a daughter.

The exact financial impact on the entrepreneur would depend on any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements signed between the couple, who met and married in the early 1990s before Amazon was founded.

Amazon again became Wall Street's most valuable company this week, surpassing Microsoft.

Bezos now has a 15 per cent stake in the company, or approximately US$80 million (NZ$117b) in shares.

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MacKenzie is an author of multiple novels, including Traps and The Testing of Luther Albright. Because so much of their wealth is tied up in a publicly traded company, both have an interest in a business-like divorce, said Michael Stutman, a divorce attorney at Stutman, Stutman & Lichtenstein in NY. He declined to comment on how the divorce might affect the ownership stake.

The couple met when they worked together at hedge fund D.E. Shaw in NY.

In September Mr Bezos committed $2 billion through the Bezos Day One Fund to helping homeless families and starting pre-schools for low-income communities.

The state has communal property laws, which requires assets and debts obtained during the marriage to be split equally if they can't reach an agreement. Bezos, 54, also owns rocket ship maker Blue Origin and The Washington Post, which he bought for $250 million in 2013.

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