Amazon.com Inc. 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,” according to a tweet Wednesday that both of them signed.
The couple met in New York at D.E. Shaw. 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.
MacKenzie, an author, played a significant role at the company in the early years and “was there when he wrote the business plan,” she wrote in a disparaging 2013 review of a Bezos biography. “I worked with him and many others represented in the converted garage, the basement warehouse closet, the barbecue-scented offices, the Christmas-rush distribution centers, and the door-desk filled conference rooms in the early years of Amazon’s history.”
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 percent of the retailer as well as the Washington Post and space exploration company Blue Origin.
“Jeff remains focused on and engaged in all aspects of Amazon,” Drew Herdener, a spokesman for the retailer, said in an emailed statement in response to a question about how the divorce might affect the company and its investors.