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Jan 27, 2020

MacKenzie Bezos shrinks her Amazon stake by about US$400 million

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From having his phone hacked to hosting a glitzy party in Washington attended by Ivanka Trump and Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos has rarely been out the spotlight since his 2019 divorce.

His ex-wife MacKenzie Bezos has kept a far lower profile. She’s tweeted just once — in April to confirm the split — even as her four-per-cent stake in Amazon.com Inc. propelled her to a US$37-billion fortune and made her the 25th richest person on the planet.

It appears the novelist and philanthropist has taken a similarly poised approach to her stock holdings. While her stake isn’t disclosed on an ongoing basis, a regulatory filing for Jeff Bezos, 56, indicates she still owns 19.5 million shares in the e-commerce retailer.

The Amazon chief executive officer retains voting rights over her shares as part of the couple’s divorce agreement. The latest proxy holding shows 19.5 million shares at year-end, or about 200,000 less than the 19.7 million she’s calculated to have received as part of the divorce.

It’s not clear whether MacKenzie Bezos, 49, sold the shares, gifted them or otherwise transferred them. The timing of any transaction also isn’t clear.

She signed the Giving Pledge in May, promising to donate more than half of her fortune to philanthropy. The disposed shares would have a value of nearly US$400 million today. Her remaining stake is valued at US$36.3 billion, while Jeff Bezos still owns US$107 billion worth of stock in the retailer.

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