Billionaires



August 4, 2019,   11:36 AM

MacKenzie Bezos Is Now Officially World’s Third-Richest Woman

Angel Au-Yeung

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mackenzie bezos

In the richest divorce settlement in history, Jeff Bezos transferred a quarter of his Amazon shares to his ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos on July 29. He remains the richest person on the planet, while she jumps into the ranks as the world’s third-richest woman. 

According to Forbes Real-Time Rankings, Bezos is worth $117.8 billion as of Thursday morning, making him still $13 billion wealthier than the second-richest person in the world, Microsoft cofounder and philanthropist Bill Gates. MacKenzie, who now holds 19.7 million shares of one of the world’s most valuable companies (in market cap), is worth $36.8 billion. 

A representative for MacKenzie did not respond to request for comment.

The only women richer than Bezos are Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, heiress to her family’s beauty empire, L’Oréal. worth $53.7 billion, and Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, who is worth $50.4 billion. 

Prior to the divorce proceedings, Bezos owned 78.8 million Amazon shares, a stake worth an estimated $150 billion, using Thursday morning’s stock prices. 

Though Jeff and Mackenzie filed documents with the SEC in April stating that a transfer would happen once the divorce proceedings ended, the documents confirming the transfer didn’t get filed until Wednesday evening. Buried in papers documenting Jeff’s sale of $1.8 billion dollars worth of Amazon stock (first reported by Forbes) was a footnote: “The amount of securities beneficially owned following the reported transaction reflects a prior transfer of shares to the reporting person’s former spouse as separate property following court approval of a divorce decree.”

In May, MacKenzie announced that she would sign the Giving Pledge, started by billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, in which signatories promise to give at least half their personal wealth away. Jeff has not signed the Giving Pledge, though he has pledged $2 billion to help homeless families and to build more Montessori-inspired schools. Neither Jeff nor MacKenzie have made additional announcements regarding philanthropy since their pledges. 

MacKenzie is a novelist, having studied under American author Toni Morrison at Princeton University. She has written two novels, The Testing of Luther Albright and Traps. The two married in 1993; the next year, Jeff would go on to start Amazon.com.



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