(Corrects paragraph 10 to say “trial separation”, not “trial exploration”)
By Jeffrey Dastin and Arjun Panchadar
April 4 (Reuters) - MacKenzie Bezos, ex-wife of Amazon.com Inc founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, will give 75 percent of their stake in the company and all voting rights to the billionaire entrepreneur as part of their divorce settlement.
MacKenzie Bezos will also relinquish all her interests in the Washington Post newspaper and rocket company Blue Origin, she said in a tweet here on Thursday.
The announcement resolves questions about the direction of the world’s largest online retailer that have abounded since the couple announced their divorce in January. Jeff Bezos, widely viewed as a management guru whose long-term focus has been essential to Amazon’s meteoric stock rise, will retain company control.
The settlement also suggests that Amazon will be spared the kind of boardroom battle that has plagued other companies whose owners are dealing with family rifts.
“Happy to be giving him all of my interests in the Washington Post and Blue Origin, and 75 percent of our Amazon stock,” MacKenzie Bezos said in the tweet.
The agreement still leaves MacKenzie Bezos with vast wealth. Her remaining stake in Amazon, valued at roughly $36 billion, is worth more than the stock market values of nearly 70 percent of the components of the S&P 500. That includes companies like eBay Inc, Allstate Corp and Twitter Inc.
The couple’s total stake of $143 billion had made them the richest in the world.
“Grateful to have finished the process of dissolving my marriage with Jeff with support from each other and everyone who reached out to us in kindness, and looking forward to next phase as co-parents and friends,” MacKenzie Bezos wrote.
Jeff Bezos re-tweeted the statement and added in a separate post that he was grateful to MacKenzie “for her support and for her kindness in this process.”
The divorce had jolted the once private Bezos couple into the public spotlight.
The day they announced their separation on Twitter, the National Enquirer promised to reveal an affair it claimed had ended their marriage, contrary to the couple’s statement that they were on a “long period of loving exploration and trial separation.”
The supermarket tabloid proceeded to publish alleged photos and intimate text messages between Bezos and his new partner, former television news anchor Lauren Sanchez.
Bezos then conducted an investigation into how that may have been leaked, culminating in his claim in February that the National Enquirer was attempting to extort him. The paper’s parent said that reporting on an extramarital relationship involving the world’s richest was lawful and it would investigate his claims.
Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco and Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva, Nick Zieminski and Bill Berkrot