fbpx

In her 25 years of marriage to Jeff Bezos, MacKenzie Bezos has been a loyal ambassador for Amazon, the company that made her and her husband the richest couple in the world.

Ms. Bezos, 48, is a novelist. But Amazon has defined her public image almost wholly. The announcement this week that she and her husband would be getting a divorce may soon change that. A statement signed “Jeff & MacKenzie,” which was first posted to Mr. Bezos’s Twitter account, read: “After a period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends.”

She was an integral part of its origin story, driving to Seattle in 1994 while Mr. Bezos sat in the passenger seat, working on the nascent company’s business plan. She was Amazon’s first accountant and was involved in its transformation from a small online bookseller to the e-commerce behemoth it is today, the second company in American history to be valued at over trillion dollars.

The couple, who have four children, wrote that they see “wonderful futures ahead, as parents, friends, partners in ventures and projects, and as individuals pursuing ventures and adventures.”

Over the last few decades, as Amazon grew, Ms. Bezos appeared with her husband at some high-profile events, including Vanity Fair’s Oscar parties and the Golden Globes; in 2012, she was a host of the Met Gala. (Amazon also underwrote the event.) But for the most part, Ms. Bezos has guarded her privacy, preferring to focus on writing and her children.

She has made infrequent forays into the public eye to promote her books and to defend her husband’s company. In 2013, she posted a scathing one-star review on Amazon of “The Everything Store,” a book about Amazon by Brad Stone, to say it was plagued by “numerous factual inaccuracies” and “full of techniques which stretch the boundaries of non-fiction.” (Mr. Stone is a veteran technology reporter. Michiko Kakutani, reviewing his book for The New York Times, said he told “this story of disruptive innovation with authority and verve, and lots of well-informed reporting.”)