Michele Ferrero, Italy’s wealthiest confectioner, has died aged 89 in his Monte Carlo home following a long period of sickness.
He owned the Ferrero Group which produces world renowned products such as the hazelnut spread Nutella, Ferrero Rocher pralines, Kinder Eggs and Tic Tac’s.
Forbes magazine described Michele Ferrero as “the richest candyman on the planet” as he and his family were ranked 30th on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest billionaires in 2014, with an estimated wealth of around $23.4 billion.
Ferrero Rocher, one of the brand’s flagship products, became well known for its kitsch adverts run on UK television in the 1990s.
The foundations for the confectionary giant were laid by Ferrero’s father, Pietro, and Michele is credited for developing the brand into what it is today: he began his journey in the family business in 1945 at age 20, and began leading the Ferrero Group 12 years later.
Michele’s sons, Pietro Jr. and Giovanni, took over the company in 2011 as Managing Directors.
However, after Pietro Jr. died of a heart attack whilst in South Africa, his brother Giovanni succeeded him as CEO and still runs the company successfully.
The Ferrero brand group – which can be found across the globe – employs 21,600 people in 18 factories in Europe, Latin America, Australia and the US. It’s been operational in the UK since 1966.
The company’s UK website currently pays tribute with the words “We are proud of you. Thank you Michele”.
A small condolence to a man they describe as having “revolutionised the food habits of millions of consumers.”
Featured image courtesy of Ferrero