MacKenzie Bezos pledges half her fortune to charity

PTI, May 29, 2019, 10:59 AM IST

New York: MacKenzie Bezos, soon-to-be ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, will donate half her fortune to charity, joining the ranks of the world’s ultra-wealthy philanthropists, the Giving Pledge announced Tuesday.

The charitable organization, founded in 2010 by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, listed Bezos among 19 new signatories from China, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates and Britain as well as the United States.

Bezos in April instantly became one of the world’s wealthiest individuals, gaining a net worth estimated at USD 36 billion after finalizing the terms of her divorce with Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man.

“In addition to whatever assets life has nurtured in me, I have a disproportionate amount of money to share,” MacKenzie Bezos said in a letter announcing that she was joining the pledge.

“My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful. It will take time and effort and care. But I won’t wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty.” As part of the couple’s pending divorce, MacKenzie Bezos is to retain 25 percent of the Amazon shares the pair held jointly, equal to about four percent of the company, but surrendered all her voting rights.

More than 200 people have now taken the Giving Pledge, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, investor Bill Ackman and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

Jeff Bezos, whose fortune is currently estimated at well over USD 100 billion, has not taken the pledge but in September announced a USD 2 billion investment fund intended to support homeless families and education in poor communities.

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