Who Is MacKenzie Bezos?
In her 25 years of marriage to Jeff Bezos, MacKenzie Bezos has been a loyal ambassador for Amazon, the company that made her and her husband the richest couple in the world.
在她和杰夫·贝佐斯(Jeff Bezos)25年的婚姻中，麦肯琪·贝佐斯(MacKenzie Bezos)一直是亚马逊的忠诚大使，这家公司让她和丈夫成为世界上最富有的夫妇。
She was an integral part of its origin story, driving to Seattle in 1994 while Jeff Bezos sat in the passenger seat, working on the nascent company’s business plan. She was Amazon’s first accountant and was involved in its transformation from a small online bookseller to the e-commerce behemoth it is today, the second company in American history to be valued at over $1 trillion.
MacKenzie Bezos, 48, is a novelist. But Amazon has defined her public image almost wholly. The announcement this week that she and her husband would be getting a divorce may soon change that. A statement signed “Jeff & MacKenzie,” which was first posted to Jeff Bezos’ Twitter account, read: “After a period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends.”
The couple, who have four children, wrote that they see “wonderful futures ahead, as parents, friends, partners in ventures and projects, and as individuals pursuing ventures and adventures.”
Over the last few decades, as Amazon grew, MacKenzie Bezos appeared with her husband at some high-profile events, including Vanity Fair’s Oscar parties and the Golden Globes; in 2012, she was a host of the Met Gala. (Amazon also underwrote the event.) But for the most part, Bezos has guarded her privacy, preferring to focus on writing and her children. She could not be reached for comment on this article.
She has made infrequent forays into the public eye to promote her books and to defend her husband’s company. In 2013, she posted a scathing one-star review on Amazon of “The Everything Store,” a book about Amazon by Brad Stone, to say it was plagued by “numerous factual inaccuracies” and “full of techniques which stretch the boundaries of non-fiction.” (Stone is a veteran technology reporter. Michiko Kakutani, reviewing his book for The New York Times, said he told “this story of disruptive innovation with authority and verve, and lots of well-informed reporting.”)
她很少进入公众视野来宣传她的书或维护丈夫的公司。2013年，她在亚马逊上发表了有关布拉德·斯通(Brad Stone)撰写的关于亚马逊的书《一网打尽》(The Everything Store)的一星尖锐评论，称其充满了“大量的事实错误”和“超出非虚构范畴的技巧。”（斯通是一位资深科技记者。角谷美智子(Michiko Kakutani)在《纽约时报》撰文评论他的书，称他“用权威和热情讲述了一个颠覆性创新故事，并且有大量内幕报道。”）
Still, little is known about this private woman who may be awarded one of the largest divorce settlements to date.
MacKenzie Tuttle, an aspiring novelist, met her husband at D.E. Shaw, a New York hedge fund where Jeff Bezos, a computer scientist by training, had become a senior vice president.
怀着写作理想的麦肯琪·塔特尔(MacKenzie Tuttle)在纽约对冲基金D.E. Shaw结识了她的丈夫，计算机科学家出身的杰夫·贝佐斯当时已经是那里的高级副总裁。
She told Vogue that she took the position of administrative assistant to pay the bills while she worked on her novels, but she soon found herself enamored with the laugh of the man who worked in the next office over. As MacKenzie Bezos put it in a 2013 interview with Charlie Rose: “It was love at first listen.”
Within three months of dating, the two were engaged; they married shortly thereafter at a resort in West Palm Beach, Florida. Jeff Bezos was 30; MacKenzie Bezos was 23.
She often described herself as a bookish introvert, especially compared with Jeff Bezos, a swaggering, infinitely expansive businessman whose chief romantic desire, he told Wired in 1999, six years after his wedding, had been to meet someone “resourceful.” (That type of attraction seems to be mutual. In 2017, at a Summit panel, Bezos said that one of his wife’s sayings is: “I would much rather have a kid with nine fingers than a resourceless kid.”)
MacKenzie Bezos’ literary ambitions began early. According to interviews and her author biography on Amazon (where she coyly notes that she “lives in Seattle with her husband and four children”), she started writing seriously at age 6, when she finished a 142-page chapter book titled “The Book Worm.” It was later destroyed in a flood; Bezos has said that she now meticulously backs up her work.
麦肯琪·贝佐斯的文学抱负很早就开始了。根据相关采访和她在亚马逊上的作者传记（她在其中含糊地称她“跟丈夫和四个孩子生活在西雅图”），她从6岁开始严肃的写作，那年她完成了一本142页的章节书《书虫》(The Book Worm)。该书后来在一场洪水中被毁；麦肯琪说她现在会一丝不苟地备份所有的作品。
After graduating from Princeton in 1992, six years after Jeff Bezos graduated from the same university, MacKenzie Bezos took the job that introduced her to the future e-commerce titan. The couple married in 1993 and moved to Seattle in 1994, the same year Amazon was incorporated.
Quickly, Bezos’ identity became enfolded into her husband’s company, even as she sought to make her mark in a publishing industry that he worked tirelessly to upend.
MacKenzie Bezos, who first lived with her husband in a rented home in an East Seattle suburb, was heavily involved in the business at the start: In addition to working as an accountant, she helped brainstorm names for the company and even shipped early orders through UPS, according to “The Everything Store.”
“She was clearly a voice in the room in those early years,” Stone said in an interview for this article.
In 1999, they moved into a $10 million mansion in Medina, Washington, and she became pregnant with their first child. As they rapidly accumulated wealth, the Bezos family took pains to preserve the trappings of normalcy.
MacKenzie Bezos often drove the four children to school in a Honda, and would then drop Jeff Bezos at the office, Stone wrote.
As the company flourished, MacKenzie Bezos stepped back and focused on her family and her literary ambitions.
“Business wasn’t her passion, and when Amazon took off she wasn’t as involved in the day-to-day business,” Stone said.
She spent a decade on her first novel, often getting up early to write, and signed with her mentor’s literary agent, Urban at ICM Partners, who also represents Cormac McCarthy, Haruki Murakami and Kazuo Ishiguro.
她花了十年时间写她的第一本小说，经常是早起写作，并和她导师的文学经纪人签约——ICM Partners公司旗下的Urban，该公司代理的其他作家还包括戈马克·麦卡锡(Cormac McCarthy)、村上春树和石黑一雄。
“The Testing of Luther Albright,” which was published by Harper in 2005 and was widely embraced by critics, tells the story of an engineer whose professional and home lives begin to unravel in the 1980s.
《路德·奥尔布赖特的考验》(The Testing of Luther Albright)于2005年由哈珀出版，受到评论界的赞誉，小说讲述了一位工程师的故事，他的职业和家庭生活在20世纪80年代开始走下坡路。
In a review in The New York Times, Kate Bolick called the novel “quietly absorbing.” The Los Angeles Times named it one of the best books of the year, and Publishers Weekly praised Bezos’ “subtle imagination and a startling talent for naturalism.”
在《纽约时报》的一篇书评中，凯特·波里克(Kate Bolick)说这篇小说“安静迷人“。《洛杉矶时报》将其评为年度最佳图书之一，《出版人周刊》(Publishers Weekly)称赞贝佐斯“精妙的想象力和惊人的自然主义天赋“。
But Bezos’ literary career may have been complicated to some extent by her high-profile husband, who has done more than perhaps any individual in recent history to transform and sometimes destabilize the book-selling business. Many independent booksellers, publishers and agents blame Amazon for building a monopoly that has put independent stores out of business and poses a dire threat to once thriving chains like Barnes & Noble.
但是贝佐斯的文学生涯在某种程度上可能因为大名鼎鼎的丈夫而变得复杂。杰夫·贝佐斯对图书销售行业的改变，在近年可能是无人能及的，有时他的作为会导致这个行业的动荡。许多独立书商、出版商和代理商指责亚马逊建立了垄断，导致独立书店停业，并对巴诺书店(Barnes & Noble)这样一度繁荣的连锁书店构成了可怕的威胁。
Even though Amazon splashily introduced its own publishing imprints, Bezos still chose traditional houses for her books: Harper and Knopf. (When asked by an interviewer why Bezos wasn’t publishing her books through Amazon’s fiction imprints, Jeff Bezos jokingly described his wife as “the fish that got away.”)
Sales of her books have been modest: The novels have sold a few thousand print copies, according to NPD BookScan, which tracks some 85 percent of print sales. Some independent booksellers refused to stock Bezos’ novels, according to a publishing executive who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Urban, Bezos’ literary agent, declined to comment for this article.
The Bezoses were the richest couple in the world; their divorce exists at a level of wealth that is virtually unprecedented. There have been billion-dollar divorces, like that of Steve and Elaine Wynn who owned casinos together, and certainly, technology entrepreneurs have been in and out of divorce court — most notably Larry Ellison, a co-founder of Oracle who has been wed and unwed four times.
贝佐斯夫妇是世界上最富有的夫妻；他们离婚时的财富水平几乎是前所未有的。曾经有过涉及数十亿美元的离婚，比如史蒂夫和伊莱恩·韦恩(Steve and Elaine Wynn)共同拥有的赌场，当然，科技界企业家也多次在离婚法庭上进出——最著名的是甲骨文公司(Oracle)的联合创始人拉里·埃里森(Larry Ellison)，他曾四次结婚和离婚。
But there has never been a divorce with a couple worth an estimated $137 billion, as Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos are.
Little is known about the couple’s financial arrangements. Divorces are governed by state law, and the Bezoses’ primary residence and business are in Washington state, a community property state where any income earned or wealth created during the marriage is to be divided equitably between spouses.
But some lawyers think it is unlikely that Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos will adhere to that guideline in a predictable manner. If they were to split assets equally, Jeff Bezos could find the 16.1 percent of Amazon stock he owns halved.
“I’d imagine they didn’t fight at all over how much wealth each other gets,” said William Zabel, a founding partner of the law firm Schulte Roth and Zabel, who has handled many high-profile divorce cases but not worked with the Bezoses. Probably, he said, “they fought about control.”
“我可以想象，他们根本不会因为双方分配多少财富而争斗，“肖特·罗斯与扎贝尔律师事务所(Schulte Roth and Zabel)的创始合伙人威廉·扎贝尔(William Zabel)说。他还说，很可能“他们会为控制权而战。”
Zabel represented Wendi Murdoch and Jane Welch in their separations, and said he thought the Bezoses would almost certainly negotiate a way to split the value of the Amazon shares while allowing Jeff Bezos the leverage he might need. The length of time such an agreement remains in place would be part of the negotiations.