Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife MacKenzie Scott jabs Amazon boss for profiting from ‘wrecking ball' pandemic after she donated $4.2B

JEFF Bezos' ex-wife MacKenzie Scott has jabbed the Amazon boss for profiting from the "wrecking ball" pandemic after she donated $4.2billion.

Scott appeared to snub her billionaire ex-husband in a Medium post on Tuesday.

She described the coronavirus pandemic as "a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling," and noted is has been worse for women, people of color and those living in poverty.

The author then went on to take a veiled swipe at Bezos, writing: "Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires."

After donating $1.68billion to 116 nonprofits, universities, community development groups and legal organizations last July, Scott asked a team of advisers to help her "accelerate" her 2020 giving with immediate help to those financially gutted by the pandemic.

She said the team used a data-driven approach, identifying organizations with strong leadership and results, specifically in communities with high food insecurity, racial inequity and poverty rates, "and low access to philanthropic capital."

Scott and her team started with 6,490 organizations, researched 822 and put 438 "on hold for now," waiting for more details about their impact, management and how they treat employees or community members.

In total, 384 organizations in 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington DC will share $4,158,500,000 in gifts, including food banks, emergency relief funds "and support services for those most vulnerable."

Other organizations address "long-term systemic inequities that have been deepened by the crisis," such as debt relief, employment training, credit and financial services for under-resourced communities and education for historically marginalized and underserved people.

The money will also support legal defense funds "that take on institutional discrimination."

Washington state organization Craft3, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) focused on investing in businesses owned by people of color, including Black and Indigenous owners, received $10 million.

It is one of several CDFIs nationally to receive an investment from Scott.

"We are incredibly honored by the recognition that comes with this unprecedented gift. Community Development Financial Institutions are the front line of inclusive, equitable finance in the United States," Adam Zimmerman, president and CEO of Craft3, said in a statement.

Scott noted that she was "far from completing" her giving pledge, and urged others to follow her lead in whatever way they could: time, a voice or money.

The bank balance of Bezos – the world's richest man – has reportedly grown almost 80 per cent during the coronavirus crisis.

Scott was left a multi-billionaire after her divorce last year from Bezos.

She ranked 20th on a Forbes real-time list of the world's richest people index on Tuesday, with a net worth of $56billion – after taking her latest donations into account.

Bezos was at the top of that list with a net worth of $185billion.

Bezos and Scott first met in 1993 when she was interviewed for her position at hedge fund D.E. Shaw by her husband-to-be.

She got the job and the two became an item shortly after meeting.

Scott once told Vogue: "My office was next door to his, and all day long I listened to that fabulous laugh. How could you not fall in love with that laugh?"

Bezos described his other half as "resourceful, smart, brainy, and hot".

He told his wife about his business idea and the following year, in 1994, they quit their jobs and traveled to Seattle to found Amazon.

After 25 years of marriage as well as a trial separation the couple decided to split amicably in January 2019.

On April 4, the pair settled their divorce, with Mackenzie retaining a $36billion stake in Amazon.

At the end of November, Amazon said it would give $500m in one-time bonuses to its US frontline employees who are working the holiday season during the coronavirus pandemic.

Full-time operations staff around the country who are employed Amazon from December 1 to 31 will receive a $300 bonus.

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