WASHINGTON: MacKenzie Bezos and Amazon.com Inc founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos agreed in a divorce settlement that he would retain all voting rights and 75 per cent of the ex-couple’s $143-billion stake in the world’s biggest online retailer.
Some investors had worried about how the split could affect Jeff Bezos’ influence over Amazon or the possibility he or MacKenzie would have to liquidate a large position ever since the world’s richest couple announced the impending divorce in January.
“Grateful to have finished the process of dissolving my marriage with Jeff,” MacKenzie Bezos said on Twitter, in the first and only tweet from an account that was created this month.
MacKenzie said she will also give up her interests in the Washington Post, a frequent target of criticism from US President Donald Trump that Jeff Bezos bought in 2013, and the rocket company Blue Origin he founded in 2000.
One Amazon investor, speaking on condition of anonymity because of a firm policy, said the resolution removes some uncertainty around the stock. Amazon shares were down 0.2 per cent at $1,817.41 in afternoon trading.
“It takes the issue off the table, with less turbulence than you might have expected,” said the investor, whose firm owns several million dollars’ worth of Amazon shares.
Jeff Bezos, 55, is seen as essential to Amazon’s meteoric growth and stock price rise since he founded the company in 1994. He has credited MacKenzie, 48, 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.
“When I think about Amazon, and the influence Bezos has on Amazon, I would argue his influence would be the same if he had 51 per cent shares outstanding or 1 per cent. I think his influence is dictated by his vision for Amazon,” D.A. Davidson analyst Tom Forte said.