After 25 years of marriage, Amazon founder and multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, are getting a divorce, according to a joint statement put out Wednesday on Bezos’s Twitter account.
“We want to make people aware of a development in our lives. 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 tweet says.
“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. “If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again.”
“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,” the tweet says.
Bezos, 54, and MacKenzie, 48, met and got married while working at D.E. Shaw, a New York-based hedge fund, in the early 90s. Shortly after, they packed up and moved across the country to Seattle, where Bezos launched Amazon.
Bezos has a fortune that has soared as high as $160 billion thanks to his stake in Amazon, which again became Wall Street’s most valuable company this week, surpassing Microsoft Corp.
Last year, the couple announced plans to commit $2 billion to fund existing nonprofits that help homeless families and also to create a network of preschools in low-income communities.
Bezos has credited MacKenzie for her support when he uprooted the young couple to Seattle from New York to launch Amazon, an online bookseller that grew into the world’s largest internet retailer.
MacKenzie Bezos, a novelist, is often cited in the Amazon origin story as having supported her husband’s move off of Wall Street and into e-commerce. Last year, Jeff Bezos said in an interview with his brother Mark at the SummitLA conference that he was looking for a resourceful woman “who could get him out of a third-world prison” as he was going through a series of blind dates before he met MacKenzie. (Jeff Bezos has repeated that story several times over the decades.)
Shares of Amazon dipped slightly immediately following the announcement before paring those losses.
“It appears obviously they have significant assets and with a long-term marriage obviously she will be receiving division of assets that I am sure will be significant given both of their circumstances,” said Seattle-based family attorney Jennifer Payseno.
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