It takes two to build an empire
It doesn’t take a divorce to make Jeff Bezos’ wife, MacKenzie, the richest woman in the world, said Louise Matsakis. News stories about the couple’s impending divorce speculate about whether she’ll take that title when the Amazon founder’s $137 billion fortune is split. Somehow people forget that she is “already the richest woman in the world, because she’s half of the richest couple on Earth.” That’s not just technically true—the billions sitting in the bank are not simply “his wealth.” It took both Bezoses to start Amazon, beginning with MacKenzie “agreeing to leave their life and move across the country from New York City to Seattle.” When Amazon was founded, MacKenzie wrote the checks, kept the books, and negotiated Amazon’s first freight contracts. She worked with Jeff in Amazon’s original headquarters, a converted garage, and in the Christmas-rush distribution centers. Silicon Valley likes to tell stories of the brilliant entrepreneur, and we’ve repeatedly found those tales aren’t true. “The lone genius myth has been largely debunked, but it can be all too easy to fall back into the familiar rhythms of Silicon Valley’s favorite narrative devices.” Don’t discount the contributions of all the people who built the company with Jeff—especially the woman who was right there with him from the start.