The former wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has pledged to give half of her US$36 billion divorce settlement to Giving Pledge, an initiative of Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates.

By Ian Horswill


Posted on May 29, 2019

MacKenzie Bezos, the former wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, is to give half of her US$36 billion divorce settlement to charity.

MacKenzie Bezos was one of 19 people to join The Giving Pledge in the past year. Announced in 2010 by Berkshire Hathaway Inc’s Warren Buffett and Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, the initiative calls for the super-rich to give away more than half of their wealth to philanthropy or charitable causes, either during their lifetimes or in their wills.

“In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share,” MacKenzie said in a statement. “My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time and effort and care.”

Ms Bezos became the world’s third-richest woman, according to Forbes, after acquiring a four per cent stake (around US$36 billion) in Amazon when she and Mr Bezos announced their divorce settlement on April 4.

Mr Bezos, whose net worth was estimated by Forbes at US$131 billion this year, was quick to support his ex-wife’s philanthropic pledge.

Eighteen others joined The Giving Pledge, totalling 204 pledges from 23 countries, the Giving Pledge announced.

“We are thrilled to welcome this year’s group of Giving Pledge signatories to the community, which has grown to more than 200 people in just nine years,” said Warren Buffett.

“The generosity of this group is a reflection of the inspiration we take from the many millions of people who work quietly and effectively to create a better world for others, often at great personal sacrifice.”

Unlike his ex-wife, Jeff Bezos, who tops the Forbes list of world billionaires, is not among the 204 wealthy Giving Pledge signatories.

Other Forbes top 10 billionaires who have not joined The Giving Pledge include Bernard Arnault, head of French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH; Mexican telecommunications magnate Carlos Slim; European fashion retail mogul Amancio Ortega and Google co-founder and Alphabet CEO Larry Page.

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