A look at the split of Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos

Jacob Yi, Contributing Writer

Photo Courtesy of The New York Times

On Jan.  9, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, also known as the richest man in the world with a net worth of 140 billion dollars, took to Twitter to announce his divorce.

“As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends,” Bezos wrote on Twitter.

Although Bezos’ wife has appeared under news headlines from time to time, she normally stands outside of the media’s reach. Born MacKenzie S. Tuttle, not many (except followers of economics and intense searchers) know that she was of vital importance to the creation of Amazon.

An aspiring fictional writer of two books and a Princeton graduate, Tuttle met her future husband while working under him in 1992 at D.E. Shaw, a New York-based hedge fund. After working for him for three months, they got engaged; they married just three months after that.

The newfound couple moved to Seattle and rented a one-bedroom house in 1994, where they began plans for Cadabra, a simple online bookstore. The site competed with the likes of other bookstores such as the now-deceased Borders and currently-struggling Barnes and Nobles.

Business gradually improved and profits started to roll in. Soon enough, the online bookstore changed its name to Amazon.com and sold books to all 50 states within the U.S. as well as 45 other countries.

As the first-ever accountant of Amazon, MacKenzie Bezos supported the rise of the ever-growing company since the days of its birth. She took a risk by choosing to move away from her comfortable job and help her husband with the workings of Amazon.

Fast forward 24 years and Amazon is now one the most profitable companies in the world. According to the most recent Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC filings, this mammoth of a company made up 4% of all US retail sales and 44% of all e-commerce sales in 2017.

This performance allowed Bezos to become the richest person in the world, and is now the reason for why Mackenzie Bezos will become the richest woman in the world. In accordance with New York’s state law for divorce, each party is to receive half of all wealth and assets obtained during the marriage. Thus, Mackenzie will be gaining $67 billion and becoming the richest woman in the world. With this development, the future for the stake of Amazon still remains unknown.

As with all divorces, the potential for scandal looms behind the true motives for separation. Although Jeff and MacKenzie have announced their divorce to be amicable, reports of another woman have already surfaced from numerous media sources.

In alleged leaked text messages sent between the two, former news anchor and actress Lauren Sánchez and Jeff Bezos are together. Multiple sources state that their relationship may have begun eight months before Bezos’s public divorce statement, but much speculation is at play.

Trials of marriage and divorce are a simple part of life, where people test whether they truly love each other or are destined to break apart. Although Jeff Bezos tries to keep his business and private life separate, these two aspects of his life will now inevitably cross paths and affect the future of Amazon.