We all knew it was going to happen, but now the final i’s and t’s have been dotted and crossed, and now that the agreed-upon shares have been officially signed over to her, Jeff Bezos’s ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos is not only the second-largest shareholder in Amazon, but the value of that stake makes her the third-richest woman in the entire world.
That stake is a four percent of the total shares in the massive online retailer, which comes to 19.7 million shares valued, as of this writing, at about $37 billion. That puts her ahead of every ultra-wealthy woman on Earth with just two exceptions: Walmart heiress Alice Walton and L’Oréal heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, with personal fortunes valued at $50 billion and $54 billion, respectively. The transfer reportedly brought Jeff Bezos’s Amazon stake, formerly at 16 percent, down to 12 percent, according to regulatory filings.
While MacKenzie’s stake in Amazon is highly lucrative, it will not come with any executive control over the company founded by her ex-husband, as per the terms of their divorce agreement. That agreement left Jeff Bezos with 75 percent of the shares formerly co-owned by both of them, as well as full voting control over her remaining stake. The agreement also had MacKenzie relinquishing her shares in other Bezos-owned companies, like the newspaper the Washington Post and the Blue Origin space exploration company.
Drinks are probably on MacKenzie Bezos this week at least, but she’s also announced her intention to spend the bulk of her fortune on something a little more substantive. Back in April of this year, she (unlike Jeff), announced her agreement to sign on to The Giving Pledge, the well known initiative started by Warren Buffett and Bill & Melinda Gates to encourage billionaires to give away at least half of their fortunes to charity.