A new book about Jeff Bezos and Amazon.com, Inc. describes how company executives and current and former employees reacted to the news of their chief executive divorcing his wife of 25 years, McKenzie Bezos.
The book by Brad Stone is called "Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire."
According to the book, which was reported on by the New York Post, executives were "perplexed" when they saw the budget charges for the Lauren Sanchez-owned Black Ops, which Bezos had employed to film a test flight for his secretive Blue Origin space enterprise.
"It was another unfathomable shift to contemplate because as they all knew Jeff Bezos hated helicopters," Stone wrote.
However, by the fall of 2018, Amazon executives had noticed that their normally attentive boss was preoccupied and becoming increasingly difficult to find, according to Stone.
Helicopters were taking a lot of his time. According to the New York Post, Bezos' holding company purchased one and Amazon's unfavorable proposal to provide helipads at a planned second headquarters in Long Island City "came right from the top."
Sanchez, a former Fox News reporter in Los Angeles, was at Bezos' Texas ranch in July 2018 for the ninth test flight of the "New Shepard" rocket. At the time, she was also married to celebrity agent Patrick Whitesell, chair of the Endeavor talent agency, who introduced his wife to Bezos in 2016. According to Stone, it is unclear when the affair started.
Bezos announced his divorce in a tweet Jan. 9, 2019. Both current and former employees were "surprised and disappointed" by Bezos' affair, according to Stone.
Just a few hours later, the National Enquirer revealed that Bezos was dating Sanchez.
Bezos eventually confirmed his relationship with Sanchez but said: "The story is completely wrong and out of order. MacKenzie and I have had good, healthy adult conversations about it. She is fine. The kids are fine. The media is having a field day. All of this is very distracting, so thank you for being focused on the business."
The billionaire returned to his business and philanthropic activities, including Blue Origin and his $10 billion fund to combat climate change after weathering the tabloid storm,
In February 2021, Bezos revealed he would step down as chief executive of Amazon in the third quarter. Andy Jassy, the CEO of AWS, will take his place.
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