WASHINGTON • Ms MacKenzie Scott, former wife of Amazon’s billionaire chief executive Jeff Bezos, has donated US$1.7 billion (S$2.3 billion) of her wealth in the past year to causes such as racial equality, LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) rights, public health and climate change, she said in a blog post on Tuesday.
Ms Scott, who was previously known as MacKenzie Bezos, also announced her new last name, which she said was taken from her middle name.
Last year, she signed The Giving Pledge in a commitment to donate the majority of her fortune, after her split from Mr Bezos – the world’s richest man – left her with a 4 per cent stake in Amazon.
“Like many, I watched the first half of 2020 with a mixture of heartbreak and horror,” she wrote in a post on the Medium website.
“I began work to complete my pledge with the belief that my life had yielded two assets that could be of particular value to others: the money these systems helped deliver to me, and a conviction that people who have experience with inequities are the ones best equipped to design solutions.”
At the time of the divorce, her stake was worth about US$36 billion.
Her fortune has grown to over US$60 billion following a jump in Amazon’s shares this year.
Ms Scott made her announcement a day before Mr Bezos will appear for his first congressional testimony in front of an antitrust panel, which has been investigating how Amazon has used its market power to hurt smaller rivals.