SAN FRANCISCO :
From his super expensive divorce settlement to Amazon’s rocky relationship with US President Donald Trump’s administration, 2019 has been quite a tumultuous year for Jeff Bezos.
In February, Amazon’s founder and CEO accused the publisher of National Enquirer, an American tabloid published by American Media Inc (AMI), of “blackmail” and “extortion”.
Bezos, also the owner of The Washington Post, revealed the explosive details in a post on the blogging platform Medium.
“Rather than to capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten,” Bezos wrote in the post while saying the “top people” at the National Enquirer were responsible for the extortion and blackmail.
Referring to AMI Chairman and CEO David Pecker, Bezos titled his post “No thank you, Mr. Pecker” and alleged the AMI threatened to release compromising photographs of him.
The dispute followed the publication of a story by the National Enquirer about Bezos and his extramarital affair with former TV anchor Lauren Sanchez, in January.
Bezos’ divorce from MacKenzie Bezos — his wife of 25 years — was finalised in July when a judge signed an order for separation and making MacKenzie richer by $38 billion.
The couple had finalised their divorce in April in what was reported as the biggest divorce settlement in history. The pair first announced plans to separate in January following reports of Jeff cheating on his wife, claims that he denied later.
The separation happened as his company turned 25 in July.
“On July 5, 1994, Jeff launched a company called Cadabra Inc,” according to the Seattle Times. In October 1994, Bezos changed the name to “Amazon”, which today is an e-commerce behemoth.
This is also the year when Amazon finally bagged the ‘.amazon’ domain name from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
The e-commerce giant first applied for this domain name in 2012, but the approval took seven years because a group of South American countries through which the river Amazon flows, raised objections.
In a shocker to Bezos and his Cloud arm Amazon Web Services (AWS), the US government in october awarded the much-anticipated $10 billion Cloud contract for Pentagon to Microsoft.
Known as the Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure (JEDI), the Cloud contract was widely expected to go in favour of AWS.
In its complaint against the government decision, Amazon alleged Trump abused his position to put “improper pressure” on decision-makers for personal gains and show his hatred towards Bezos who owns The Washington Post, which relentlessly covered the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi, the Saudi dissident who wrote columns for The Washington Post, was killed in Istanbul last year allegedly by Saudi operatives.
But all these controversies didn’t prevent the world’s richest man to have some fun time with girlfriend Sanchez.
The two were spotted enjoying a boat trip in Venice later this year. In July, the Amazon CEO met the two sons — Nikko Gonzalez, 18, and Evan Whitesell, 13 — of Sanchez, a TV host-turned-helicopter-pilot and camerawoman.