Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and novelist MacKenzie Bezos have announced they are divorcing, through a joint statement on Wednesday.
Jeff Bezos shared the announcement on his personal Twitter account shortly after 9am Eastern, signed by both him and MacKenzie.
‘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,’ the statement read.
‘If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it again.’
Jeff Bezos is worth close to $140 billion, according to Forbes. The statement did not mention how the two will split that fortune.
Much of that dollar amount comes from his 16 percent ownership stake in Amazon, which briefly became the second US-based company to reach a $1 trillion valuation in September (behind Apple), CNBC reported.
MacKenzie Bezos is the author of two books and was one of the first employees of Amazon at its founding.
Amazon is now valued at $777.8 billion, according to Forbes, and passed Microsoft this week to become the world’s biggest publicly traded company by market capitalization.
The two live in Washington, which is a community property state, and that means all assets acquired during the marriage are split down the middle unless there’s a prenuptial agreement stating otherwise.
The division of the Bezos’ assets will be complicated because the two will continue to pursue joint ventures, according to the joint statement.
‘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,’ the statement continued.
‘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.
‘Though the labels might be different, we remain a family, and we remain cherished friends.’
Jeff and MacKenzie met at work in 1992 when Jeff was the first to interview MacKenzie at the investment management firm of DE Shaw.
At the time, Jeff was a vice president there, and MacKenzie had come on board as a research associate, Business Insider reported.
The two Princeton graduates were engaged three months later and married in 1993.
That was all before he founded Amazon, which he started from a garage in Seattle in 1994.
If the two file for divorce in their home state of Washington, that’s significant because Washington is a community property state.
What that means is that all income earned and property acquired by either spouse during a marriage community property, owned by both spouses together.
This is the default rule, which can be opted out of with a prenuptial agreement.
When Bezos’ net worth reached $105.1 billion in January of 2018, CNN reported that he was the richest person in history.
His wealth has grown exponentially in the last five years, with Forbes estimating his net worth at $32 billion in March of 2014.
Now, he’s worth $136.9 billion, and he and MacKenzie are thought to own more land, together, than almost anyone else in the United States of America, according to Business Insider.
Through 1999, the Bezos were reported to have lived in a one-bedroom rented home in Seattle.
To date, the two own at least five homes throughout the country.
On the west coast, they own property in Medina, Washington, and Beverly Hills. The two added on to an original purchase in Southern California from 2007, by buying an adjacent home in an off-market sale from a neighbor for $12.9 million.
In the South Central part of the US, they have a place in Van Horn, Texas, and on the east coast, they won property in DC, and Manhattan.
The Bezos also paid $23 million for the former Textile Museum in Kalorama, Washington, DC in 2016.
Jeff also owns the Washington Post, which he bought for $250 million in 2013.
He and MacKenzie share four children, including three sons and a daughter, who they adopted from China. Their oldest child, Preston, turned 18 in March.
MacKenzie’s books include ‘The Testing of Luther Albright,’ a psychological novel about the challenges facing a Sacramento, California father and his family after an earthquake.
In 2014 she launched Bystander Revolution, an anti-bullying organization.