Jeff Bezos and wife MacKenzie Bezos announced on Wednesday, January 9th that the two were filing for divorce which has left many wondering how their separation is going to affect Amazon, which currently stands as one of the world’s most valuable companies. The two married back in 1993, just before Bezos founded Amazon, according to Fox Business. After 25 years of commitment and “a long period of loving exploration and trial separation,” they have decided it is time they go their separate ways.
But how will their divorce impact Amazon?
According to CNN, Bezos currently holds a 16% stake in the company, although it is unclear how much of this will go to his wife. His net worth is also estimated to be about $137 billion. Now, because it is unknown whether the couple signed a pre-nuptial agreement, MacKenzie Bezos may be entitled to half of her husband’s wealth along with half of the shares he currently owns in Amazon. The two currently live in Washington, which is considered a “community property state, which means assets accrued during the marriage must be split equally in a divorce.” However, CNN reported that it is still unclear whether they will file for divorce in Washington or if they will take their case to another state in which they own property. The source says the Bezos’ own properties in California, Texas, and in other locations as well.
Given the limited amount of information that has been provided to the public, it is unclear how the divorce will actually affect Amazon. However, here is what some news outlets are saying might be a potential outcome:
- If Bezos is required to split his shares down the middle, MacKenzie could “use her large stake in Amazon to push for changes at the company, potentially in opposition to her ex-husband.” However, “it’s unlikely this would lead to actual corporate change.”
- Even if Bezos sees a reduction in his Amazon shares, his voting power at the company won’t likely change given his “strong leadership track record over [the last] two decades.”
- Because Bezos was allegedly said to have been seeing another woman, MacKenzie may receive more than what the public believes she is entitled to in exchange for her “complete cooperation.” If this were one of the reasons why the divorce has arisen, it could lead to disagreements and fights, some of which might run into dealings involving Amazon which is why some speculate an agreement might be in the works for MacKenzie to sign.
Now, if the two are able to walk away without getting into too many disputes, they could each wind up being some of the wealthiest people in the world, says attorney Peter Walzer. However, this may be unlikely if there are “some kind of emotional issues involved” which only “fuels a lot of fighting” and often results in a significant amount spent on attorney’s fees among other things. Although it is unclear what will happen between the two and which direction their divorce will go in, it doesn’t seem as though it will have a drastic impact on Amazon.
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