Dia Dipasupil / Staff
- Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos suffered a decline of more than $10 billion in his net worth over 2019, according to Bloomberg.
- The loss is mainly down to his divorce from MacKenzie Bezos, which led to a settlement where she received Amazon stock worth more than $35 billion.
- MacKenzie Bezos became one of the world's wealthiest women in her own right after the split.
- Overall 2019 has been a good year for the incredibly wealthy. Only two of the top 50 billionaires suffered a net loss.
- Visit Business Insider's home page for more stories.
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos lost more money than almost any other billionaire in 2019, but remained the richest person in the world with a net worth of $115 billion.
Bezos's net worth is down $10.1 billion since the beginning of the year, according to Bloomberg's Billionaire's Index on December 31.
The decline is the second-largest on the list, just smaller than that suffered by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, whose net worth more than halved. It fell by $10.2 billion from $18 billion to $7.8 billion.
Bezos's loss can be accounted for by the cost of his separation from MacKenzie Bezos, his wife of 26 years. The two announced their separation in January 2019.
In a divorce settlement finalized in July, the couple divided their Amazon shares, with 75% going to Jeff Bezos and 25% to MacKenzie.
The settlement took an enormous chunk out of Jeff Bezos's reported net worth, which peaked in excess of $165 billion in late 2018, according to Bloomberg.
It also created a new, independent billionaire in MacKenzie Bezos, who ended the year in 25th place on the Bloomberg index with $37.1 billion to her name. She is the fifth-richest woman on the list.
Such is the scale of Amazon and Bezos's wealth that the notionally private development of their marriage ending was ultimately one of the most significant financial events of 2019.
The $37.1 billion wealth transfer between the Bezos couple is a little larger than the entire $35.1 billion gross domestic product of Latvia, an Eastern European nation with around 1.9 million inhabitants.
According to Bloomberg's index, 2019 was overall a good year for the extremely wealthy.
Only two people in the top 50 — Jeff Bezos and Chinese real estate billionaire Hui Ka Yan — experienced a decline in their net worth.
Tech moguls featured prominently among the winners, with sharp increases for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (up $26 billion), Microsoft founder Bill Gates (up $22.7 billion), and Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin (up $13.3 billion and $12.8 billion respectively).You can see Bloomberg's full Billionaires Index here.
- I've adopted a '2-hour rule' based on the habit that led Einstein, Darwin, and Nietzsche to brilliance — and it's had the highest ROI of anything I've done
- Insiders say these are the 10 most transformative M&A deals of the decade
- A top psychologist says there's only one way to become the best in your field. Not everyone agrees.