Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos announced Wednesday that he and his wife, MacKenzie, plan to file for divorce.
Since the announcement, Amazon shares have not made any out-of-the-ordinary moves. Most analysts largely predict the divorce will not lead to any significant change in the Company’s leadership or growth.
Analysts have gathered that unless Bezos’ personal situation disables him from running Amazon, the divorce will likely remain a non-issue for shareholders.
According to Washington State law where Amazon is headquartered, all property acquired after marriage is community property and is generally divided equally upon divorce. This would award MacKenzie an 8% ownership stake in Amazon. CEO’s can typically avoid splitting up their shares by offering other assets, such as real estate, to their spouse.
Seattle based attorney David Starks said “I have to imagine that some of the longest conversations and most legal mind power went into how to fashion a settlement that retained Jeff Bezos’ ability to remain a controlling shareholder in Amazon.” No matter how the assets are split, Bezos is expected to remain one of the company’s largest stockholders.
Typically, a court would attempt to even out assets so that both parties are left with a level playing field in the long-term. In this unprecedented case, a court would likely divide the money evenly. It is unclear whether the couple has a prenuptial agreement in place.
Apart from Amazon, in the 25 years following the couple’s marriage in 1993, Bezos founded space exploration company Blue Origin and bought the Washington Post.