Jeff Bezos' sudden keen interest in helicopters reportedly revealed his affair with Lauren Sanchez

Lauren Sanchez, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and Anna Wintour
  • Amazon execs saw Jeff Bezos' divorce announcement coming, according to a new book.

  • The book reportedly said Bezos seemed to take an unusual interest in helicopters in 2018.

  • Details later emerged about the CEO's relationship with Lauren Sanchez, a helicopter pilot.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Back in 2019, Jeff Bezos announced that he and his wife, MacKenzie, were seeking a divorce.

Only hours later, the National Enquirer reported that Bezos had been dating Lauren Sanchez, a helicopter pilot who owns the aerial-filming company Black Ops Aviation. The fallout made headlines for weeks afterward.

According to a new book, reported on by the New York Post, executives at Amazon suspected the divorce when Bezos started taking an unusually keen interest in helicopters, which he had apparently always hated.

The timing was notable given that Sanchez's work centered on helicopters.

The revelations were made in Brad Stone's new book, "Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire."

According to the Post, it said executives were confused when they realized Bezos had hired Black Ops to film a test flight for his space venture Blue Origin.

"It was another unfathomable shift to contemplate because as they all knew, Jeff Bezos hated helicopters," wrote Stone, who spoke with Amazon executives as part of his research, per the Post.

By the fall of 2018, however, Amazon executives had observed that their usually attentive boss seemed preoccupied, Stone reportedly wrote.

The helicopters he once loathed were apparently capturing much of his attention. It was reported that Bezos' holding company bought one, and Amazon sought to include a helipad at its proposed second headquarters in New York City in what the Post said was an idea that "came right from the top."

Around the time of the National Enquirer story, Bezos confirmed his relationship with Sanchez but added: "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."

After weathering the tabloid storm, Bezos continued to focus on his business and philanthropic interests, including Blue Origin and his $10 billion fund to address the climate crisis.

In February of this year, he announced plans to step down as CEO of Amazon in the third quarter. Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon Web Services, will take his place.

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