Bezos’ High-Stakes Divorce Could Be Simple


The couple intends to part “as friends,” and MacKenzie may well become the world’s richest woman.

The high-stakes divorce of Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos will involve unimaginable sums of money but the case may be easier to negotiate than with regular earners, simply because they are so rich.

“Their divorce will be handled as quickly as an Amazon delivery,” said West Coast-based attorney Christopher Melcher.

There is no minimizing the trauma of splitting up, even with adult children and ample financial security. Yet divorce lawyers say when very large amounts of money are involved, there’s simply more gauze for the wounds.

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com Inc., has a net worth of $137 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The couple intends to part “as friends,” and MacKenzie may well become the world’s richest woman.

Sergey Brin, a Google founder worth over $50 billion, and his wife, Anne Wojcicki, herself a major figure in Silicon Valley, sought to keep their parting amicable over the last few years. They have appeared in public together and continue raising their two children jointly.

Job Done

When Harold Hamm, the oil and gas executive, and his wife, Sue Ann divorced in 2014, he wrote a check for an estimated $975 million, about 5 percent of his worth. The check, he said at the time, “got the job done” after years of bitterness.

It sounds obvious, but experts note that, with more wealth, each dollar means less – and that can turn down the emotional thermometer, at least in public.

“They became extraordinarily wealthy because they were smart,” said Michael Stutman, a prominent divorce lawyer. “And smart people do not spend money on lawyers fighting over the emotional landscape. They spend their money doing what they can to maximize their post-divorce net worth.”

He added, though: “Sometimes an expensive dispute can’t be avoided.”

Read: Investors Chew Over What Could Happen to Amazon’s Float

Dodgers Pain

Take the example of Frank and Jamie McCourt, the former Los Angeles Dodgers owners.

They moved to L.A. in 2014, spending millions on homes and pools, reportedly even $10,000 a month on hairstyling. Five years later they were trading charges, including infidelity, insubordination (he fired her as the team’s CEO) and other transgressions. He paid her $130 million as part of their divorce in 2009, as the team went into bankruptcy and was later resold.

“They dragged the team through their personal battle,” said Melcher, of Walzer Melcher in Los Angeles.

Divorces of the very rich can also become complicated when they cover several jurisdictions, philanthropies, money stashed off-shore and high-end assets like art.

Divorce Triggers Battle Royal for Billionaire’s Art Collection

The divorce between Russia’s Dmitry Rybolovlev and his wife Elena unfolded over six jurisdictions and resulted in years of acrimony. In 2014, a Swiss judge awarded her $4.8 billion, though they next year they settled for reportedly less than that – though still a considerable sum.

Randy Kessler, an Atlanta-based divorce lawyer, gave one further caveat. If the lawyers involved in the Bezos case make even the smallest mistake, it could cost a billion dollars.

“It would scare me,” he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Donald Trump Wishes Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Luck In His Divorce Amid Affair Buzz


Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Tuttle announced their divorce after 25 years of marriage. (AFP)

US President Donald Trump wished Amazon Inc founder Jeff Bezos luck in his divorce from his wife MacKenzie, predicting the proceedings will be “a beauty.”

“I wish him luck,” the twice-divorced Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday as he departed for a trip to the US border with Mexico. “It’s going to be a beauty.”

Bezos and his wife announced they would divorce on Wednesday. Later in the day, the National Enquirer — whose chairman and chief executive, David Pecker, has been a close Trump ally — reported that Bezos has been having a relationship with Lauren Sanchez, a former TV anchor and helicopter pilot and the wife of Hollywood talent agent Patrick Whitesell. 

The Enquirer said it had been actively investigating the relationship between Bezos and Sanchez for four months.

The New York Post also reported the relationship and said Whitesell and Sanchez are separated.

Trump has a history of publicly attacking Bezos and his company. The president has criticized coverage of his administration by the Bezos-owned Washington Post, and he’s pressured the US Postal Service to raise the prices it charges Amazon to ship its packages.

Pecker is cooperating with federal prosecutors who are investigating so-called catch-and-kill payments the Enquirer made ahead of the 2016 presidential election to at least one woman who alleged she had an affair with Trump. The Enquirer secured the rights to the material, assuring the allegations wouldn’t be shared with other media, then never published the story.





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$136 Billion And Amazon In The Middle Of Jeff Bezos’ Divorce


Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Tuttle announced their divorce after 25 years of marriage.

New York: 

The announcement by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the world’s wealthiest man, and his wife that they will divorce has captivated the imagination — how will they split his giant fortune, estimated at $136 billion?

And what will happen to the Internet retail giant — will his soon-to-be ex get a significant stake, and how would that affect his control of the company?

The former MacKenzie Tuttle knew the 54-year-old Bezos before fame and wealth came calling.

The couple met in 1992 when he was a hedge fund manager on Wall Street, before he became an entrepreneur who changed the way hundreds of millions of people live. They married less than a year later.

She was by his side for the entire Amazon adventure, from the company’s humble beginnings in his Seattle garage in 1994 to its mammoth success today. They have four children — three sons and an adopted daughter — aged up to their late teens.

As of Wednesday, when the couple formally announced they would divorce after a long separation, the 48-year-old MacKenzie, a novelist, is likely to become the richest woman in the world.

According to celebrity news outlet TMZ, the Bezoses did not have a prenuptial agreement — which could mean an even split of assets.

They were married in Florida in September 1993, according to documents seen by AFP. But their last place of residence would be the deciding factor in any divorce proceedings.

The couple has numerous residences: in Seattle, where Amazon is based, but also in Washington DC, Texas and Beverly Hills, California.

‘Cherished friends’

According to Randall Kessler, a founding partner at Atlanta family law firm Kessler and Solomiany, the location will not matter so much.

“Some states have community property, some states have equitable division which means fair division, but even in those states, it usually comes out 50-50. That’s the starting point,” he said.

Bezos, who was once Amazon’s primary stakeholder, now owns about 16 percent of the company — the bulk of his net worth.

At mid-day Thursday, that stake translated to about $130 billion.

Any divorce settlement would include his stock portfolio. If it were split in half, that would leave Bezos — who still runs the company — with an eight percent stake.

So far, that prospect has not frayed Wall Street, with Amazon shares even up slightly on the Nasdaq on Wednesday after the announcement, only to fall back Thursday.

Hedge fund investor Doug Kass announced that he had sold off his shares after the divorce announcement — which had an upbeat tone, with the pair saying they remained “cherished friends.”

Given they appear to be on good terms, they could decide to put their shares into a trust or other legal mechanism in order to maintain the same power among Amazon’s shareholders.

MacKenzie could also opt to transfer her voting rights, should she earn half the stake in a settlement, according to Margaret Ryznar, a law professor at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).

‘Protect the company’

“Voting rights may not be that important in this case because Jeff Bezos is currently a minority shareholder anyway,” Ryznar says.

“Much of his influence in Amazon comes instead from his position within the company as its founder and CEO.”

For Kessler, “if they want to protect the company, they’ll find a way to give her an interest in the company that doesn’t affect the running of the company.”

Of course, the couple may have a post-nuptial deal that will be revealed in the coming months.

They may also end up in an acrimonious divorce, which would surely cloud the prospects of Amazon, both on Wall Street and from a public relations perspective.

The National Enquirer tabloid reported Thursday that Bezos was in a relationship with the wife of powerful Hollywood talent agent Patrick Whitesell, former news anchor and entertainment reporter Lauren Sanchez.

The relationship, launched eight months ago, was the final nail in the coffin of the troubled Bezos marriage, the tabloid said.

“Clients come to see me all the time and they always say that this is going to be uncontested — ‘We’re both reasonable, we both agree that it should be fair’,” Kessler says.

“The problem sometimes is that people disagree on what fair is, or on what reasonable is. Right now they agree. I hope they continue to agree, but who knows what they might disagree on.”

And any disagreement would be a field day for their attorneys.

“If they disagree, that’s where lawyers make money,” Kessler said.

When asked about the Bezos divorce on Thursday, President Donald Trump, himself twice divorced, said: “I wish him luck. It’s going to be a beauty.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Wife MacKenzie To Divorce After 25 Years Together


Jeff Bezos and his wife Mackenzie Bezos were divorcing after a long separation. (Reuters)

Billionaire Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon.com Inc, and wife MacKenzie Bezos, are divorcing after 25 years of marriage, the couple said in a joint statement on Twitter on Wednesday.

Jeff Bezos, 54, is the world’s richest person, with a fortune that has soared to more than $160 billion thanks to his stake in Amazon, which again became Wall Street’s most valuable company this week, surpassing Microsoft Inc.

The couple decided to divorce after a long period of “loving exploration” and trial separation, and expect to continue as partners in joint ventures and projects, according to the statement.

MacKenzie Bezos, 48, is an author who grew up in San Francisco, according to a 2013 profile in Vogue magazine. She attended Princeton University and met her husband when interviewing for a job at a New York hedge fund, according to the magazine. The pair have four children.

At a Business Insider event in Berlin last April, Jeff Bezos said MacKenzie’s support was instrumental when he founded Amazon as an online bookseller in 1994, and that she did the accounting for the company in its first year.

“When you have loving and supportive people in your life, like MacKenzie, my parents, my grandfather, my grandmother, you end up being able to take risks,” he said at the event.

Jeff Bezos in September committed $2 billion to helping homeless families and starting pre-schools for low-income communities. He had solicited ideas on Twitter in 2017 for ways to donate some of his wealth.

In 2012, the couple donated $2.5 million to a Washington state campaign to legalize same-sex nuptials there.

From modest beginnings as an online bookseller, Bezos and Amazon branched out into almost every product category available, ending up taking on established retail giants such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Under Bezos, Amazon launched the Kindle e-reader and revolutionized the way books are distributed and read. The company has also been a pioneer in cloud computing.

In November, Amazon picked America’s financial and political capitals for massive new offices, branching out from its home base in Seattle with plans to create more than 25,000 jobs in both New York City and an area just outside Washington, D.C.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Jeff Bezos To Invest More Than $1 Billion In Blue Origin, His Aerospace Company, In 2019


Jeff Bezos, said that he is planning to boost his annual investment in Blue Origin in 2019 (AFP)

San Francisco: 

The world’s richest man, billionaire entrepreneur and Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, said Monday that he is planning to boost his annual investment in Blue Origin, the aerospace company he launched in 2000.

Bezos — whose real-time net worth was estimated at $145 billion by Forbes, in large part thanks to his shares in Amazon — said he had spent about a billion dollars a year on developing Blue Origin.

“Next year, it’ll be a little more — I just got that news from the team, recently,” Bezos said at the Wired 25th anniversary summit in San Francisco. “I always say yes — I’m, like, the worst.”

Blue Origin is working on space tourism, and developing rockets for satellite launches and space exploration, much like its rival, Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

SpaceX, however, is ahead, having been operational in the rocket race for six years already.

In addition to his position as Amazon CEO, Bezos also owns The Washington Post.

“We need the same dynamism in space that we’ve seen online over the last 25 years,” he explained, saying he wanted to help launch a new age in space exploration. “We can do that — we need reusable space vehicles.”

Blue Origin’s stated goal, much like SpaceX, is to lower the cost of space launches, as the next logical innovation following the work of US space agency NASA, the Soviet Union and others.

Those Golden Era space programs used rockets that were destroyed upon re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. Blue Origin and SpaceX are developing recyclable rockets.

Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket — named for pioneering astronaut John Glenn — is not expected to be ready before 2021.

The smaller New Shepard — named for Alan Shepard, the first American to go to space — is designed to take six passengers past the so-called Karman line, the internationally recognized boundary of space, to experience weightlessness.

Several key tests carried out this year were a success, and it could be ready in 2019, Bezos says. In the space tourism game, Blue Origin is competing with Virgin Galactic.

“I keep telling the team — it’s not a race,” Bezos said. “I want this to be the safest space vehicle in the history of space vehicles.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Designing Large Lunar Lander


Jeff Bezos’ space company is in the conceptual design phase of a large lunar lander that it says will provide reusable access to the moon’s surface and its resources, Blue Origin said on Wednesday.

The lander is part of Blue Origin’s broader mission of enabling a future in which millions of people live and work in space, the company said.

“The next logical step in this path is a return to the Moon,” Blue Origin said in a statement. “To do this we need reusable access to the lunar surface and its resources.”

The company, founded by Amazon.com Chief Executive Officer Bezos, has said it aims to land on the moon in about five years. The company offered no details on Wednesday about how it would move from the design phase to moon missions in this time frame.

Blue Origin is also developing its New Shepard rocket for short space tourism trips and a heavy-lift launch rocket called New Glenn for satellite launch contracts.

Blue’s launch vehicles face strong competition from several other aerospace companies, including Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.

© Thomson Reuters 2018



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Donald Trump Should Be Glad Of Media Scrutiny: Amazon’s Jeff Bezos


Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has said that it is wrong of President Donald Trump to “attack the media” (Reuters)

WASHINGTON: 

Amazon.com Inc Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said on Thursday the company would announce a decision on where it will build a second headquarters before the end of the year, and also said that President Donald Trump is wrong to “attack the media.”

Bezos privately owns the Washington Post, which has been among the media that have been the frequent target of broadsides from Trump.

Amazon has announced 20 finalists in North America for its planned investment of $5 billion and 50,000 jobs. At a speech before the Economic Club of Washington on Thursday, Bezos did not offer any favorites for the project.

Asked about Trump’s repeated criticism of both the Washington Post and Amazon, Bezos called it a “mistake” for any elected official to “attack media and journalists.”

What Trump “should say (of criticism) is, ‘This is right, this is good. I am glad I am being scrutinized,’ and that would be so secure and confident,” Bezos said. “But it is really dangerous to demonize the media. It is dangerous to call the media lowlifes, it is dangerous to say that they are the enemy of the people.”

“The media,” Bezos added, “is going to be fine. We’re going to push through this.”

Trump has described the Washington Post as Amazon’s “chief lobbyist.” The Washington Post’s top editor has said that Bezos has no involvement in its news coverage.

Bezos said he has had discussions with Trump but declined to elaborate. The White House did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Trump in the spring repeatedly said without evidence that package deliveries by the U.S. Postal Service for Amazon were costing the service money. He ordered a task force to study the Postal Service, but sources last month said that the White House decided to not yet release the report, forcing a planned Senate hearing on postal reform to be delayed.

© Thomson Reuters 2018

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Unveils $2 Billion Philanthropic Fund


The “Bezos Day One Fund” will contribute to “existing nonprofits that help homeless families”. (File)

Washington, United States: 

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced he was launching a philanthropic fund with a $2 billion initial commitment to help homeless families and launch preschools in low-income communities.

The world’s richest individual made the announcement on Twitter a year after asking for ideas on how he could use his personal fortune — now estimated at some $163 billion — for charitable efforts.

The “Bezos Day One Fund” will contribute to “existing nonprofits that help homeless families” and also fund “a network of new, nonprofit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities,” he wrote.

Grants will be given to organizations “doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the needs of young families,” Bezos said.

The fund will also seek to launch and operate “a network of high-quality, full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities,” he wrote.

“We will build an organization to directly operate these schools.”

The $2 billion initiative, while significant, is far less than the philanthropic efforts of other billionaires including Microsoft’s Bill Gates, who has donated tens of billions to his foundation, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who has pledged to donate 99 percent of his shares in the social media giant to an organization focused on public good.

It also falls short of the “giving pledge” initiative launched by Gates and billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who have encouraged wealthy individuals to pledge half their fortunes for philanthropy.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Jeff Bezos Rockets To Become Richest Person On The Planet


Jeff Bezos has regained the crown as the richest person on the planet (File Photo)

As Amazon became the second US firm to hit a trillion-dollar value on the stock market, founder Jeff Bezos regained the crown as the richest person on the planet.

Amazon’s share price has climbed during the year, lifting the personal wealth of the company’s 54-year-old founder with it. Forbes estimated his net worth about $166 billion.

He has gone on record with a formula for success that includes taking bold bets, riding change and rebounding from setbacks.

“You need to be nimble and robust so you need to be able to take a punch and you also need to be quick and innovative and do new things at a higher speed, that’s the best defense against the future,” Bezos said in an interview published in Vanity Fair magazine last year.

“You have to always be leaning into the future. If you’re leaning away from the future, the future is gonna win, every time.”

Tinkering Toddler

Jeffrey Preston Bezos’s penchant for experimenting reportedly dates to a young age — with one widely-recounted story telling that he tried to dismantle his own crib as a toddler.

His mother was a teenager when she gave birth to Bezos in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on January 12, 1964.

“You shaped us, you protected us, you let us fall, you picked us up, and you loved us, always and unconditionally,” Bezos said in a Twitter message thanking his mom “for everything” on Mother’s Day in May.

She remarried when her son was about four years old, and he was legally adopted by his Cuban immigrant stepfather who worked as an engineer at a major petrochemical company.

“My dad came here from Cuba all by himself without speaking English when he was 16 years old, and has been kicking ass ever since,” Bezos said in a Father’s Day tweet in June.

“Thank you for all the love and heart, Dad!”

His mother’s family were settlers in Texas, where Bezos spent many a summer working at a ranch owned by a grandfather retired from a job as a regional director at the US Atomic Energy Commission.

Bezos was enchanted by computer science when the IT industry was in its infancy and he studied engineering at Princeton University.

After graduating, he put his skills to work on Wall Street, where by 1990 he had risen to be a senior vice president at investment firm D.E. Shaw.

He surprised peers by leaving his high-paid position about four years later to open an online bookseller called Amazon.com, which according to legend was started in a garage in a Seattle suburb. Bezos was backed by money borrowed from his parents.

Bezos went from being a boy with a love for how things work to being the man who built Amazon.com into an internet powerhouse.

Amazon grew to dominate commerce and become a formidable contender in cloud computing, streaming television, and artificial intelligence with its digital assistant Alexa.

Long-Term Thinking

Bezos has such a proven track record for shaking up the business sectors he enters that he has been dubbed “disruptor-in-chief.”

Like his company, Bezos has transformed with time, shaving his head and bulking up his body with exercise. The results were immortalized in a series of photos taken at a conference last year.

A fan of science fiction and in particular the British author Iain Banks, Bezos has passions other than Amazon.

Bezos called Banks “a huge personal favorite” in a tweet early this year while announcing that Amazon Prime video service was working on a television series based on one of the author’s novels.

Bezos has invested some $42 million in the building a 150-meter-tall clock designed to keep time for 10,000 years. Built inside a mountain in Texas, the clock will be powered by geothermal energy.

“Humans are now technologically advanced enough that we can create not only extraordinary wonders but also civilization-scale problems,” Bezos said in a blog post devoted to the clock project.

“We’re likely to need more long-term thinking.”

Bezos is also behind private space exploration operation Blue Origin, into which he usually invests money from selling Amazon shares.

Blue Origin has outlined plans to build a spaceship and lunar lander capable of delivering cargo to the moon, perhaps to support colonies there.

With the purchase of The Washington Post in 2013, the Internet entrepreneur added a prestigious news operation to his investments.

The Post, and Bezos himself, have been targeted by US President Donald Trump. An open critic of Trump, Bezos has jokingly offered to send him into space.

Bezos has been married to Mackenzie Bezos, a writer, since 1993. They have four children. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)





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Did Jeff Bezos Just Hint at Amazon’s Plans for an Alexa-Based Home Robot?


Did Jeff Bezos’s kids really use blue painters’ tape to attach an Amazon Echo speaker to a robot vacuum cleaner? Or was his Instagram post on Monday just a teaser for his company’s next device?

The Amazon chief executive officer and world’s wealthiest man took to the photo-sharing app to post the image along with the caption: “What?!!!! Found this in the living room when I got home. I have no idea. #LifeWithFourKids”

amazon echo jeff bezos instagram full Amzon Echo

Photo Credit: Instagram/ Jeff Bezos

Bloomberg News in April reported on Amazon’s plans to release a mobile Echo robot for the home.

Investors analyse Bezos’s comments for any insights into the secretive technology company’s next big project. In an earnings release on Thursday, he stirred speculation that the e-commerce giant is working on another smartphone by saying, “We want customers to be able to use Alexa wherever they are.”

Or maybe Bezos’s kids were just messing around with the family Roomba.

Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

© 2018 Bloomberg LP





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