While the shares are worth about $1.8 billion, the 12% of Amazon that Jeff Bezos still controls means he remains the world’s richest person. His net worth after the sale will be just shy of $115 billion.
The sale of the shares, while apparently the biggest ever by Bezos, fits a historical pattern of the CEO cashing in shares in order to continue funding space-exploration start-up Blue Origin.
MacKenzie Bezos, meanwhile, has become the second-largest Amazon shareholder, with 19.7 million shares registered in her name. With a fortune estimated at $37 billion, she is among the world’s richest people, even though the value of her stake has declined by $1 billion since the divorce settlement came to light in April. MacKenzie Bezos has surrendered her interests in the Washington Post and Blue Origin.
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In signing the Giving Pledge, MacKenzie Bezos has agreed to give most of her fortune to charity. “In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share,” she wrote in May, explaining her decision to sign the pledge. “My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time and effort and care. But I won’t wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty.”
A judge in King County, WA, formalized the split with an order signed on July 5. It ranks as the priciest divorce in history.
Amazon stock gained 1% in Thursday morning trading, to $1,887 a share.
The divorce took shape after news surfaced of an affair between Bezos and Lauren Sanchez, a former anchor on KTTV’s Good Day, LA and an occasional guest co-host on The View. Sanchez and her husband, Endeavor partner Patrick Whitesell, recently filed for divorce.
Bezos and Sanchez were photographed last month at Wimbledon, sitting three rows behind Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge in the tennis tournament’s royal box.
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