The wife of Amazon CEO and world's richest man Jeff Bezos could scoop as much as US$69 billion NZ$101b following their divorce — earning her own title as the world's richest woman.
Exactly what Bezos pays out his soon-to-be ex-wife Mackenzie Bezos will depend on the complexities of marital law and the value of Amazon, estimated to be worth US$137b (NZ$200b).
The Amazon founder announced in a tweet yesterday that he and his wife of 25 years have "decided to divorce". His tweet suggested the split would be amicable parting, saying "we remain a family and we remain cherished friends".
Considering Amazon was founded a year after the Bezoses were married, Mackenzie could argue that she is entitled to half of Bezos's entire Amazon-based fortune, USA Today reported. It's also been reported any wealth made during their marriage outside of the company could be split equally between the two.
The divorce, which could become one of the most expensive in history, could potentially affect Bezos's stake in Amazon.
But, according to USA Today, divorce lawyers say Mackenzie would be unlikely to push for a settlement that would require Bezos to sell shares that would dilute his control as she would want the family fortune to continue to grow. Bezos currently has a 15 per cent stake in the company, or approximately US$80 million (NZ$117b) in shares.
Mackenzie, 48 met and Bezos, 54 when she moved to New York from her hometown of San Francisco. Bezos had interviewed her for a job at the hedge fund where he was working at the time.
For Mackenzie, it was laugh at first sight.
"My office was next door to his, and all day long I listened to that fabulous laugh," she told Vogue in a 2013 interview, the year she and Bezos married. "How could you not fall in love with that laugh?"
They dated for only three months before tying the knot.
Bezos told the publication he was attracted to her many great attributes.
"I think my wife is resourceful, smart, brainy, and hot, but I had the good fortune of having seen her resumé before I met her, so I knew exactly what her SATs were," he joked.
He then had a crazy idea, which he ran past his wife, which was to quit his job and delve into the start-ups world.
"I told my wife MacKenzie that I wanted to quit my job and go do this crazy thing that probably wouldn't work since most start-ups don't, and I wasn't sure what would happen after that," he said in a 2010 address at his alma mater, Princeton.
While Bezos went on to build Amazon, which he started in his garage, Mackenzie Bezos went on to become an author and founded the anti-bullying organisation Bystander Revolution, where she serves as executive director. The organisation has worked with celebrities like Lily Collins, NFL star Tom Brady and Monica Lewinsky.
She is also a Princeton University graduate with a degree in English and studied fiction under Nobel prize-winning author Toni Morrison.
Mackenzie released two books titled, The Testing of Luther Albright and Traps.
The New York Times called the first of these, which won an American Book Award in 2006, a "quietly absorbing first novel" about "an emotionally repressed husband".
The pair have four children together — one daughter, who they adopted from China, and three sons.
The billionaire exec was adopted himself at a young age by his stepfather, Cuban immigrant Miguel "Mike" Bezos, an engineer at Exxon.
According to CNBC, when it comes to giving his own children the advice, Bezos tells them they need to work hard and be proud of the choices they make, not what they can accomplish easily.
Rumours recently surfaced that Bezos "has been seeing" the estranged wife of Hollywood mogul Patrick Whitesell, who is an agent to stars including Matt Damon, Christian Bale and Kevin Cosner.