Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos announce they are getting a divorce

Jeff and Mac Kenzie Bezos attend an event

Jeff and Mac Kenzie Bezos attend an event

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of United States online retail empire Amazon and the world's richest man, has taken to Twitter to publicly announce his impending divorce.

Jeff Bezos (right) and MacKenzie Bezos ended their marriage after 25 years together. He and his wife both signed the announcement, which ended with a vow to remain "cherished friends".

They were married in 1993, after meeting at D.E. Shaw & Co, and s hortly afterward relocated to Seattle to found Amazon, where MacKenzie was one of the company's first employees.

A one-third Bezos stake worth $45.7 billion would vault her ahead of l'Oreal heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, worth $45.6 billion, and Walmart heiress Alice Walton, worth $43.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

It turned ugly and stretched on for years after Elaine was granted nearly half of Steve's ownership in the company back when they divorced in 2010.

Last January, the couple donated $33 million to fund college scholarships for USA high schoolers with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, an Obama-era program protecting young immigrants brought to the United States illegally by their parents.

Bezos then went on to move to Seattle where he founded Amazon and made his fortune.

Amazon this week passed Microsoft to become the world's biggest publicly traded company by market capitalization.

Amazon shares were up 0.2pc in midday trading yesterday. The couple announced the news on Twitter Wednesday just three days shy of Bezos' 55th birthday.

That's all well and good, but having enough material wealth to start your own space exploration firm makes divorce a complicated matter, and Washington's laws around separations dictate their wealth fortune could theoretically be split down the middle during negotiations.

Neither the Bezoses nor Amazon have commented on the likely division of the couple's assets, including a 16 percent stake in the company.

"If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again", the couple said.

According to the post by the billionaire businessman, the couple had already informed their close friends and family about their news and said the decision to split up wasn't taken lightly.

MacKenzie is an author of multiple novels, including Traps and The Testing of Luther Albright.

It is unlikely that many details of the divorce will become public, NY lawyer Bernard Clair, who is representing Judith Giuliani in her divorce from former NY mayor Rudy Giuliani, said.

The Bezos Wednesday in 1993 a year after meeting at a NY hedge fund company MacKenzie Tuttle, now 48, worked at as a research assistant, The Washington Post reported. There's also the fact that in Washington, where they now reside, assets are split 50-50 because it's a community property state.

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