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Confectionery king Michele Ferrero was 30th richest when he died in Feb

Confectionery multibillionaire Michele Ferrero died at age 89-on Valentine's Day

Published: Apr 6, 2015 06:54:45 AM IST
Updated: Apr 6, 2015 04:07:07 PM IST
Confectionery king Michele Ferrero was 30th richest when he died in Feb

The man responsible for coating the globe in rich nutella passed away on February 14. Michele Ferrero inherited the Ferrero confectionery from his father, who invented the hazelnut spread in a lab to develop goodies for his wife’s pastry shop, taking advantage of Italy’s postwar cocoa shortage by supplying it with a delectable substitute. Michele—whose $23.4 billion fortune made him the world’s 30th-richest person at his death—took over with his mother and uncle in 1950. He pushed for international expansion (Nutella is sold in 160 countries) and new product development (Kinder eggs, Ferrero Rocher chocolates, even Tic-Tacs). A devout Catholic, he insisted that every Ferrero office display a statue of the Virgin Mary. Today 25 percent of hazelnuts harvested globally become Nutella; Ferrero sales hit $10 billion last year. Ferrero’s passing occasioned some takeover chatter, but the company remains firmly in the family’s hands—son Giovanni has been chief executive since 2011. His other son, Pietro, died while bicycling in 2011.

Also Deceased

Karl Albrecht, 94

Germany $25 bln

Isidoro Alvarez, 79
Spain $1.45 bln

David Azrieli, 92
Canada $3.1 bln

Len Buckeridge, 77
Australia $1.2 bln

Struett Cathy, 93
US $6.3 bln

Heinz-Horst Deichmann, 88
Germany $4.9 bln

William Clay Ford, 88
US $1.35 bln

Malcolm Glazer, 85
US $4.4 bln

Patrick Mcgovern, 76

US $5.7 bln

Antonio Ermirio de Moraes, 86
Brazil $3.1 bln

Reinfried Pohl, 86
Germany $2.1 bln

Paul Ramsay, 78
Australia $3 bln

Moise Safra, 79
Brazil $2.2 bln

Richard Mellon Scaife, 82
US $1.5 bln

Jacques Servier, 92
France $7.6 bln

Jacob Stolt-Nielsen, 83
Norway $1.15 bln

Tsai Wan-Tsai, 85
Taiwan $7.6 bln

Wang yung-tsaI, 93
Taiwan $3.1 bln

(This story appears in the 17 April, 2015 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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  • Ma

    sorrows are same everywhere

    on Apr 6, 2015