MacKenzie Scott, philanthropist and the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has become the most powerful woman in the world, replacing former German chancellor Angela Merkel.
The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou
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MacKenzie Scott has reached the top position of Forbes' World's 100 Most Powerful Women. Her marriage with the world's richest person, Jeff Bezos, lasted 25 years. After their divorce in 2019, she received 25% of Bezos' stake in Amazon.
The former couple got married in 1993, and they have four children together (three sons and one daughter that was adopted from China). After announcing the official end of their marriage, MacKenzie gave Bezos all of her interests in The Washington Post and Blue Origin. Plus, 75% of their Amazon stock and voting control of her shares.
In 2021, Bezos keeps being the world's richest person with a net worth of $177 billion. In the second place is the co-founder and CEO of electric car maker Tesla and rocket manufacturer SpaceX, Elon Musk, with $151 billion. Meanwhile, MacKenzie has a net worth of $62.2 billion, owing to a 4% stake in Amazon.
Surprisingly, MacKenzie decided to give away most of her billion-dollar fortune to a significant number of charities. Alongside her new husband, science teacher Dan Jewett, the philanthropist donated $2.7 billion to over 280 organizations focused on the arts, education, and nonprofits working to combat racial injustice. In a blog post, MacKenzie wrote that her goal was to "de-emphasize privileged voices and cede focus to others" and that "it would be better if disproportionate wealth were not concentrated in a small number of hands."
Also, among the recipients' art institutions, Dance Theatre of Harlem told The New York Times they received $10 million, the largest gift in history. The couple also donated to major universities like The University of Texas at San Antoni, which got $40 million.
In her post, MacKenzie emphasized that she is "attempting to give away a fortune that was enabled by systems in need of change."
After 2019, the philanthropist received a reported 4% of Amazon stock, worth an estimated $36 billion at the time. Since then, the value of Amazon stock has risen 74%.
The most powerful woman in the world has been on a giving spree since July 2020, giving about $8 billion away over the last months, including $1.7 billion to historically black colleges and universities.
For also using her financial fortune to those who need it, Melinda French Gates is on the list compiled by Forbes. This way, the wife of Bill Gates has entered number four of the most powerful women. On the other hand, Kamala Harris has risen to number two after becoming the first woman of color to become the Vice President of the United States. In this way, she supersedes Christine Lagarde, who heads the International Monetary Fund. The Spanish banker Ana Botin ranks number 7 after becoming the director of Santander Group in a male-dominated sector.
Finally, although MacKenzie Scott is not the wealthiest woman on the list, she was chosen number one for her generous donations to many causes.