Pricey divorce costs Jeff Bezos top spot on list of world’s wealthiest people

The founder and CEO of Amazon.com went through what was arguably the most expensive divorce in human history in 2019.

However,  Jeff Bezos will remain firmly ensconced within the top three richest individuals in the world as the year draws to a close, the International Business Times reported.

Bezos still near top of list

It was noted that Bezos’ net worth had dropped by roughly $13.6 billion over the course of the tumultuous year, yet his net worth was still estimated to be in the neighborhood of $111 billion, ranking him in second place on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

In first place on that list was Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who had an estimated net worth of about $113 billion. Close on the heels of Bezos and Gates was French billionaire Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH S.E., the company that owns the Louis Vuitton fashion empire and Moet-Hennessy champagnes and cognacs.

Interestingly, given the fluctuation of assets, stock values and net worth, those three men have all enjoyed a moment in the top spot on the list at some point or another in recent weeks and months, and that is unlikely to change going into the next year.

Rounding out the top five was legendary investment manager Warren Buffet and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who were estimated to be worth around $89.3 billion and $78.7 billion respectively.

Costly divorce

Prior to Bezos’ divorce from his wife of 25 years, Mackenzie Bezos, he was indisputably the richest man in the world.

However, as Quartz reported in July, his net worth took a substantial hit following the marital dissolution, which transferred to her control of about 20 million shares of Amazon stock — roughly 4% of the company — worth an estimated $38 billion.

Meanwhile, Jeff Bezos retained voting control over Mackenzie’s shares as well as 75% of the remaining shares of Amazon that the pair had jointly owned as a married couple.

On top of that, Mackenzie also ceded full ownership to Bezos of The Washington Post and a space exploration company known as Blue Origins.

How to spend it?

Meanwhile, despite losing a substantial portion of his net worth this year, Jeff Bezos is still incredibly wealthy and could easily move to the top of the list once again. What he and his fellow billionaires intend to do with their immense fortunes — give to charity or keep building even more wealth — is anybody’s guess.

Far be it from us to try and tell successful billionaire business moguls what to do with their money, but given the current political climate and wealth-destroying proposals from the Democrat presidential candidates, we would suggest supporting — or at least refraining from viciously attacking — the current president who would like to protect and grow those fortunes for them and others for four more years.

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