MacKenzie Bezos’s divorce from Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos could make her the world’s richest woman. File Image: IOL

The world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, and wife, MacKenzie, will divorce after 25 years of marriage.

Announcing the split this week, the Bezoses, who have four kids, gave no reasons for the split.

“We have decided to divorce and continue our lives as friends,” they said on Twitter. “If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again.”

However, the Amazon CEO has reportedly been jolling with news anchor Lauren Sanchez.

According to People, Sanchez, 49, is divorcing husband Hollywood agent Patrick Whitesell, after a 13-year marriage. They have a girl, 10, and a boy, 12.

Sanchez, a helicopter pilot who runs her own company called Black Ops Aviation, also has a son, 18.

Bezos and Sanchez have been spotted together.

A source tells People they’ve been “spending a lot of time together over the last year and especially the past few months”.

“At first it was socially at parties.... but their time together has definitely seemed to evolve.”

JOLMEIT: Lauren Sanchez

Bezos, 54, who founded e-commerce giant Amazon in 1994, is worth about $136.2 billion (R1.9 trillion), making him the richest person in the world.

He owns about 16% of the business, comprising more than 95% of his fortune. He also owns The Washington Post and rocket company Blue Origin.

If MacKenzie, 48, gets half of his assets, as required by law in Washington State, she would be worth more than $68bn (R943bn), making her the fifth richest person in the world. Even a 1% payout would constitute one of the largest divorce settlements in history.

In a disparaging review of a Bezos biography, MacKenzie, an author, said she “was there when he wrote the business plan”.

“I worked with him and many others represented in the converted garage, the basement warehouse closet, the barbecue-scented offices, the Christmas-rush distribution centres, and the door-desk filled conference rooms in the early years of Amazon’s history.”

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