‘Mysterious $60B woman’: Profile offers rare look at MacKenzie Scott’s distribution of Amazon wealth

MacKenzie Scott. (Elena Seibert Photo)

MacKenzie Scott hasn’t given any interviews about her split from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos or her philanthropic pursuits in the time since. But a new story from the Medium business publication Marker paints an extraordinary portrait of the life of one of the richest women in the world.

Calling Scott “the mysterious 60-billion-dollar woman” in her story this week, journalist Stephanie Clifford said she, too, was unable to reach Scott through multiple channels and requests. But through interviews with friends, schoolmates, instructors, associates, and former co-workers of Scott’s, along with previously unreported public documents, she’s able to “reveal Scott’s complicated relationship with money.”

The story comes just a couple months after Scott, who changed her name from Bezos after her divorce, announced that she was giving $1.67 billion to 116 non-profit organizations as part of her pledge to give away the majority of her wealth.

Clifford digs into Scott’s upbringing, early schooling, pursuit of a career as a novelist and the relationship between books, Bezos and the early days of Amazon, where Scott was employee No. 1.

The writer talked to early Amazon employees, including Erica Jorgensen, a copy editor who started at the company in 1997 and previously shared her insights with GeekWire inside one of the first Amazon office buildings.

The story touches on the dynamic between Scott and Bezos as a couple and their 2019 break up. It then transitions to Scott’s immediate and immense wealth and how she upended the norms of philanthropy with how she started to give money away. The giving — or onetime lack of giving — by Bezos and Amazon is also called out. And Clifford uses interviews to scrutinize the source of Scott’s wealth and what she owes to the public as a result.

“That money, as she very well knows, was made through tax avoidance, by wage theft, by union busting, by driving workers into the ground at every turn,” author Anand Giridharadas told Clifford. “[Scott] now has this classic modern dilemma: she is a serious person who wants to give the money back in ways that actually advance justice.”

Check out the full story on Marker.

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