MacKenzie Bezos just opened up her wallet big time, and she's sharing her reason why. "I have a disproportionate amount of money to share," the ex-wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos noted in her letter signing on to the Giving Pledge, a commitment by some of the world's richest people to give away at least half of their wealth, either while they're alive or after they've died. MacKenzie Bezos' addition to this elite group was announced Tuesday, as were those of 18 other individuals and couples, including WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton and his wife, Tegan, and Jeremy Grantham, co-founder of asset management firm GMO, per Barron's. Vox reports that, per the initiative founded in 2010 by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, Bezos would be donating at least $17 billion of her fortune.
"My approach to philanthropy will continue to be thoughtful," Bezos said in her letter. "It will take time and effort and care. But I won't wait. And I will keep at it until the safe is empty." Her decision comes in contrast to her ex-husband's long reluctance to sign the pledge himself, though the world's richest man has upped his philanthropic spending, vowing last year to give $2 billion to early education and anti-homelessness programs. Per CNN, Jeff Bezos' net worth is around $114 billion; Forbes puts it closer to $150 billion. Vox notes that MacKenzie's decision to sign the pledge is "revealing." "The Bezos couple had nine years to sign the Giving Pledge and declined to do [so] over and over again," the site says. "But as soon as MacKenzie Bezos was in charge of her own personal fortune, she immediately signed the document." (The Bezoses' moving announcement on their divorce.)