Monday, February 16, 2015

Nutella Owner Michele Ferrero Dies


ROME – Michele Ferrero, the creator of Nutella spread and owner of the world’s fifth-largest candy company, died in Monte Carlo on the weekend after being ill for several months. He was 89.

Considered to be Italy’s richest man, with a fortune calculated at $23 billion by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Ferrero – whose Ferrero Group makes Nutella and Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs – died on Saturday and condolences began pouring in from politicians and business leaders.

“He knew how to join innovation with Italian tradition and genuineness,” said Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, adding that Ferrero “is a name known worldwide and which means Italy.”

The minister also praised Ferrero’s initiative in the area of social responsibility linked with his business activities and noted that “his human and business values remain.”

Italian President Sergio Mattarella also sent a telegram to Ferrero’s family upon learning of his death, acknowledging that his “breed of businessman (was) well-known and valued in Italy and abroad.”

Mattarella also said that “Italy remembers him with gratitude for his work to support and promote culture.”

The announcement of Ferrero’s death was made by the firm in the northwestern Italian city of Alba, where the company is based and the funeral is to be held, although no date for it has yet been set.

The company is one of the largest candy manufacturers in the world, operating in 53 countries and employing more than 34,000 people.

Forbes magazine recently rated Ferrero the world’s 30th-richest man. In 1957, he inherited the company founded by his father and gathered together under it assorted candy brands known worldwide.

Born in 1925, the candy magnate right from the start established a strong relationship with his employees and with the suppliers of basic raw materials for his products, and over time he developed a winning communications and media strategy that was essential for ensuring the success of the group’s brands.


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