|Died||March 17, 2012
|Known for||Krating Daeng, co-founder of Red Bull|
|Net worth||$5 billion (2009) |
|Spouse(s)||Noklek Sodsri (Divorced)
Chaleo Yoovidhya (Thai: เฉลียว อยู่วิทยา, RTGS: Chaliao Yuwitthaya, Thai pronunciation: [ʨʰàlǐːaw jùːwíttʰájaː]) was a Thai businessman who originated the Krating Daeng (กระทิงแดง) and was co-creator of the Red Bull brands of energy drinks. At the time of his death on 17 March 2012, Chaleo was listed as the third-richest person in Thailand, with an estimated net worth of $5 billion.
With little formal education, he worked for his parents, then moved to Bangkok. He became an antibiotics salesman, before quitting to set up his own small pharmaceutical company, TC Pharmaceuticals, in the early 1960s. Later, he developed an energy-boosting beverage that was first introduced in 1976. The logo depicts two large, red bulls charging each other, which are not cattle but wild gaur, a bovine species native to Southeast Asia called krathing (กระทิง) in Thai. Dietrich Mateschitz, an Austrian salesman for a German company, found the drink cured his jet lag, and entered into partnership with Chaleo in 1984. In 1987, the two launched an export version labelled "Red Bull," for which Chaleo provided the formula and Mateschitz the marketing. Each put up US$500,000 for 49% of the Red Bull energy drink franchise, with Chaleo's son, Chalerm, owning the remaining 2%. Chaleo continued to own TC Pharmaceuticals, which manufactured other energy drinks in Thailand, and was part owner of Piyavate Hospital, a private hospital in Thailand.
The Yoovidhya family co-owns the sole authorized importer of Ferrari cars into Thailand. In September 2012, a grandson and heir faced charges of recklessly driving a Ferrari and fleeing police, after allegedly causing the death of Police Master Sergeant Wichian Klanprasert.
- "#1 Chaleo Yoovidhya". Forbes.com. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
- "Chaleo Yuwitthaya dies at 90 | Bangkok Post: news". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
- "Chaleo Yoovidhya". Forbes lists. Forbes. March 2012. Archived from the original on March 17, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2012. "Net Worth $5 B As of March 2012 #205 Forbes Billionaires, #3 in Thailand"
- The New York Times notes that three dates have been put forward by different sources: "The Nation, a Thai newspaper, reported that he was 90, while several other news media outlets in Thailand said he was 88. Forbes recently put his age at 80." The BBC states "Mr Chaleo was born of poor Chinese immigrant parents in the northern province of Phichit, reportedly in 1932, local media say". The Australian and Time say he was 89. The Telegraph and The Independent say 1923.
- "Chaleo Yoovidhya". The Daily Telegraph. 19 March 2012.
- Martin Childs (21 March 2012). "Chaleo Yoovidhya: Recluse who created the Red Bull energy drink". The Independent.
- "Thai Billionaire Who Created Red Bull Dies". NPR. AP. March 17, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2012.
- AP News (September 3, 2012). "Red Bull heir arrested in deadly Thai hit-and-run" (News & blogging). Asian Correspondent (Bristol, England: Hybrid News Limited). AP. Retrieved September 4, 2012. "BANGKOK (AP) — A grandson of the creator of the Red Bull energy drink has been arrested for driving a Ferrari that struck a police officer and dragged his dead body down a Bangkok street in an early-morning hit-and-run, police said Monday."
- "Ex-wife, colleagues mourn". Bangkok Post. 4 September 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2012. "Nongnoot Saengpraphan's hopes of reuniting with her ex-husband Pol Snr Sgt Maj Wichian Klanprasert were crushed with shocking brutality when the officer was killed in a hit-and-run accident on Sukhumvit Road early yesterday."