MacKenzie Bezos To Donate Half Her More Than $35 Billion Fortune
MacKenzie Bezos became the third richest woman in the world following her divorce settlement with her husband Jeff Bezos the Amazon founder. She received 4% of Amazon stock that is estimated to be worth over $35 billion. MacKenzie has said that the amount she received is disproportionate and has pledged to donate half of the fortune into charity. Following the dissolution of their marriage, MacKenzie gave her executive interest in Washington posts and Blue Origin to her now ex-husband. She also gave out 75% of their joint stock at Amazon to Jeff, who will retain voting control in the remaining 25%.
The Bezos’ rise to fame and fortune
Form a young age, Bezos was someone who liked experimenting with one widely told story indicating that as a toddler, he tried to pull to pieces his crib. He was born to a teenage mother and spent most of his time in his grandfather’s ranch in Texas. Jeff went to Princeton University and studied engineering, and by 1990 he was a Senior Vice at D.E. Shaw. It is here she met MacKenzie, and they would later get married in 1993.
Four years later, Bezos left his position to begin an online bookseller called Amazon.com. Legend has it that the company began in a garage and it is nowadays an internet powerhouse. Amazon has grown to dominate e-commerce and turn out to be a leading cloud computing and AI powerhouse with its digital assistant Alexa. From an online bookseller, the company has grown a fortune, and it is estimated to be worth around $750 billion. The Bezos also owns Blue Origin, which is a company that ventures into space exploration, and in 2013, they acquired Washington Post adding to their growing portfolio of investments.
Jeff and MacKenzie have been married for over 25 years, and they have four children. MacKenzie, who is also a novelist, has been with Jeff from their D.E Shaw days. She says she was there when Jeff wrote the business plan, and she worked with him and others in the garage where Amazon began, the basement warehouse, Christmas rush distribution centers, barbeque scented offices and the door desk filled conference places that are characteristic of Amazon’s history.
Jeff and MacKenzie divorce
On January 9th the couple announced in a joint statement the dissolution of their 25-year marriage. However, they indicated that despite the dissolution of their marriage, they were remaining to be friends.
A statement posted in their twitter account indicated that they were divorcing after years of loving exploration and trial separation, but they would continue sharing their lives as friends. The statement continued to state that the couple had had such great life together and they expected to have wonderful futures after the divorces and partners in ventures, parents, friends as well as individuals who want to pursue adventures and ventures. MacKenzie indicated in the post that she would give her interest in Blue Origin, Washington Post and 75% voting control in Amazon to support Jeff’s contribution with the teams in the companies. She added that she was looking forward to her plans.
The split between Jeff and MacKenzie was finalized at the beginning of April and MacKenzie will receive 4% of Amazon as part of the settlement. Bezos is reportedly said to be engaged in a relationship with Lauren Sanchez who is a former TV host at Fox. After the Bezos made it public that they were divorcing in January, a tabloid magazine had a publication that gave personal details that included text message of the affair that Jeff was having with Ms. Sanchez. Mr. Bezos accused the publisher of blackmail allegations that American Media incorporated has denied.
MacKenzie’s pledge to donate
MacKenzie Bezos indicated that she would be giving half of her over $35 billion fortune from them to charity. She joined Giving Pledge, which is an agreement among some of the richest people in the world who have agreed to donate half their fortune in their lifetime or wills to charity. Once the divorce gets finalized, she will join the richest people in the world as the third richest woman.
In her Giving Pledge Letter, MacKenzie indicated that besides the assets that life has given her she equally has disproportionate sums of money that she should share. She added that her approach to charity is expected to continue being thought and is likely to take time and effort, but she was not willing to wait. She added that she is going to keep at it until the safe is empty.
Giving pledge was founded by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet in 2010 to encourage the world’s wealthiest people to give more than half of their wealth to charity. Ted Turner, the CNN founder, and Barry Diller were among the first signatories when the pledge began in 2010. Other notable names have already signed the pledge including Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, Larry Ellison, Richard Branson, Pierre Omidyar, and Michael Bloomberg among others. There are currently over 204 individuals, families, and couples from around 23 countries that are donating to Giving Pledge.
Although MacKenzie has signed for Giving Pledge, Mr. Bezos is nonetheless not among the signatories. However, he is involved in charitable causes, and last year he put up $2 billion into a charitable fund that aims at helping in setting up of new schools in low-income areas as well as helping the homeless. He has also been involved in donating towards cancer research, marriage equality as well as college scholarships for immigrants.
MacKenzie has however not specified a particular cause that she intends to donate to. Jeff Bezos has lauded her ex-wife move saying that she is going to be an amazing and effective philanthropist and that he is proud of her. MacKenzie also founded Bystander revolution, which is an anti-bullying peer-to-peer organization that Monica Lewinsky counts as a strategic advisor.