‘Loving exploration and trial separation’: Jeff Bezos, wife’s divorce announcement in nutshell

Bezos, 54, is worth $137 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 wealthiest people.

Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie are divorcing after a relationship that started at a New York hedge fund and is ending a little more than a year after he became the world’s richest person. “After a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends,” the pair tweeted on Wednesday.

While Wall Street took the announcement in stride, investors will be watching to see if the divorce settlement affects Bezos’s control of Amazon. So long as the company is growing and returning profits, he’ll probably maintain their confidence, though a settlement could potentially put a dent in such Bezos side projects as the space exploration company Blue Origin.

The announcement came hours before the National Enquirer tabloid newspaper began tweeting that it planned to publish an expose about the split. The Enquirer and the New York Post later reported that Jeff Bezos has been having a relationship with Lauren Sanchez, a former TV anchor and helicopter pilot and the wife of Hollywood talent agent Patrick Whitesell.

The New York Post said Sanchez and Whitesell are separated. MacKenzie Bezos was aware that her husband was dating Sanchez during their separation, according to a person close to Jeff Bezos, who asked not to be named discussing personal matters.

Jeff was the first person to interview MacKenzie for a role at the hedge fund and the pair ended up having offices next to each other, according to a 2013 interview with Vogue. They married in 1993 and a year later drove across the country to Seattle, where Jeff founded Amazon. They have four children.

Bezos, 54, is worth $137 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 wealthiest people. He owns about 16 % of the retailer as well as the Washington Post and Blue Origin.

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