Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, are to divorce after a 25-year marriage. The pair announced the move in a joint statement on Wednesday on Twitter.
“After a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends,” the couple said in the statement.
Amazon, formed 25 years ago, this week eclipsed Microsoft to become the world’s most valuable listed company.
Jeff Bezos, 54, who founded Amazon, is the world’s wealthiest man according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, with an estimated wealth of $137bn, some $45bn ahead of Bill Gates.
The 48-year-old MacKenzie Bezos is a novelist, the author of The Testing of Luther Albright (2005) and Traps (2013).
“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 couple’s statement said.
“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.
“Though the labels might be different, we remain a family, and we remain cherished friends.”
Last year they launched a charity project together, the Day One Fund, with the aim of helping homeless families and building pre-schools in low-income communities.
The couple have four children – three sons, and an adopted daughter.
MacKenzie Bezos told Vogue Magazine in 2013 that the pair had met when he interviewed her for a job at a hedge fund in New York.
They got engaged after three months of dating and married shortly after, in 1993.
One year later he founded Amazon – which began as an online book retailer.
The company has since expanded into an e-commerce giant.
Amazon was worth $797bn (£634bn) when the US stock market closed on Monday, after rising 3.4% and moving past Microsoft, valued at $789bn.
Hours after Jeff Bezos announced he and his wife of 25 years, MacKenzie, planned to divorce, it’s been reported that the billionaire has already moved on. Sources have confirmed to Yahoo reports that the founder and CEO of Amazon is seeing Lauren Sanchez.
Bezos, 54, and Sanchez, 49, have been spending time together for a couple of months, according to sources, in the wake of their separations. Sanchez, a former Good Day LA anchor who appears on Extra and The View, is married to powerhouse Patrick Whitesell, one of Hollywood’s biggest talent agents, representing stars like Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Hugh Jackman. Sanchez and Whitesell have been married for 13 years, although Page Six reports the two have been separated for a while. Apparently, the former couples have known each other for years.
“Patrick and Lauren have socialized with Jeff Bezos and his wife for a few years, because both (now former) couples have houses in Seattle,” a source told Page Six. (The three were photographed at a party together in 2016 for Amazon Studios’ Manchester by the Sea, which starred Whitesell’s client Michelle Williams.) “Then Lauren was hired to work on one of Bezos’s projects, Blue Origin, a space launch company, as a helicopter pilot. She has been shooting aerial shots for Bezos.”
Sanchez also works as a helicopter pilot and runs a company called Black Ops Aviation, which specializes in shooting aerial shots for films, TV and commercials.
“Patrick and Lauren Sanchez have been separated for a while,” the source continues. “Their marriage has been off and on for a while, and they tried hard to fix things, but in the fall they officially separated.”
Whitesell was repotedly made aware of his estranged wife’s new relationship.
“Lauren and Jeff have been spending a lot of time together over the last year and especially the past few months,” according to a source. “At first it was socially at parties … here and there. But their time together has definitely seemed to evolve, raising some eyebrows. Jeff has met a small group of Lauren’s girlfriends too. The two of them are sort of thick as thieves right now.”