Have you heard the news about MacKenzie Bezos? She’s a novelist who started writing at the age of six, a Princeton graduate and the mother of four children who has attempted to keep her personal life private, despite her family’s well-known name and her published books.
And she is “set to become one of the richest women in the world” according to this piece from the New York Times and republished in the AFR, with a similar headline from New.com.au, which goes on to state she could “walk away with as much as $96 billion”. Some Amazon investors are worried. A Forbes contributor even outlines the ways she could use a potential 8 per cent stake in Amazon to “wreck havoc” on the business in an act of “Mackenzie’s Revenge”.
The many pieces shared globally explain to audiences just who MacKenzie Bezos is and why she could soon top the wealthy list of women, following a statement released by MacKenzie and her husband, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, that they have decided to get a divorce following a trial separation.
Many such pieces also go on to label MacKenzie as an “integral” part of the creation of Amazon. She’s described as being a loyal ambassador of the brand. She helped develop the business plan and undertook early accounting work. She gave up her career in the hedge fund she once worked in with Jeff. She drove the couple from their former home in New York to Seattle, where Amazon was founded one year after they were married, with Jeff in the passenger seat.
The couple are estimated to be worth $US137 billion. They never signed a prenup and they live in Washington state which, by law, requires that assets accumulated during a marriage should be equally split. By these facts and figures, MacKenzie isn’t about to become one of the richest women in the world, she already is.
Could Jeff have founded Amazon alone, without this 25 year partnership? We’ll never know, (although raising four kids in the process would have certainly been unlikely). What we do know is that he didn’t. He had a trailing spouse, a sounding box, a trusted person available to participate in business issues, somebody present to manage and oversee the domestic front and a primary parent for their four children.
As this piece from Wired shared on the divorce announcement, there is no ‘lone genius’ at the helm of Amazon — despite that often being the narrative when it comes to how major tech companies are built. That piece also points to this excellent piece from the New York Times in 2014, declaring that too often it’s women who played a pivotal role in the stories of tech that are forgotten.