Chaleo Yoovidhya

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Chaleo Yoovidhya
Born (1923-08-17)August 17, 1923
Phichit, Thailand
Died March 17, 2012(2012-03-17) (aged 88)
Bangkok, Thailand
Nationality Thai
Occupation Businessman
Known for Krating Daeng, co-founder of Red Bull
Net worth US$5 billion (2009) [1]
Spouse(s) Noklek Sodsri (Divorced)
Bhavana Langdhara
Children Jiravat Yoovidhya, Chalerm Yoovidhya, Suthirat Yoovidhya, Saravoot Yoovidhya, Sakchai Yoovidhya
Parent(s) Seng Saelee, Thongyoo Saelee

Chaleo Yoovidhya (Thai: เฉลียว อยู่วิทยา, rtgsChaliao Yuwitthaya, Thai pronunciation: [ʨʰàlǐːaw jùːwíttʰájaː]; 17 August 1923 – 17 March 2012) was a Thai businessman and investor. He was the originator of Krating Daeng (กระทิงแดง) and was co-creator of the Red Bull brands of energy drinks. At the time of his death in 2012 at the age of 88, he was listed as the third richest person in Thailand, with an estimated net worth of US$5 billion.[2][3]


Various news sources suggest Chaleo was born in Central Thailand at some point between 1922 and 1932,[4] to a poor Thai-Chinese family that raised ducks and traded fruit in Phichit. His father was an immigrant from Hainan.[5]

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.[6][7] Later, after a claimed stroke of "divine inspiration", 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,[6][7] and entered into partnership with Chaleo in 1984.[6] In 1987, the two launched an export version labelled "Red Bull", for which Chaleo provided the original formula (adapted for Western tastes under Mateschitz's guidance[8]), and Mateschitz the marketing. Each put up US$500,000 for 49 percent of the Red Bull energy drink franchise, with Chaleo's son, Chalerm, owning the remaining 2 percent.[7] 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.[9]


Chaleo died in Bangkok on 17 March 2012.[10]


  1. ^ "#1 Chaleo Yoovidhya". Retrieved 2012-03-17. 
  2. ^ "Chaleo Yuwitthaya dies at 90". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "Chaleo Yoovidhya dies". Forbes lists. Forbes. March 2012. Archived from the original on 17 March 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2012. Net Worth $5 B As of March 2012 #205 Forbes Billionaires, #3 in Thailand 
  4. ^ 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 he was born in 1923.
  5. ^ T.C. Pharma | About
  6. ^ a b c "Chaleo Yoovidhya". The Daily Telegraph. 19 March 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c Martin Childs (21 March 2012). "Chaleo Yoovidhya: Recluse who created the Red Bull energy drink". The Independent. 
  8. ^ Roll, Martin (2005-10-17). Asian Brand Strategy: How Asia Builds Strong Brands. Springer. p. 199. ISBN 9780230513068. Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  9. ^ Staff (3 September 2012). "Red Bull heir arrested in deadly Thai hit-and-run" (News & blogging). Asian Correspondent. Bristol, England, UK: Hybrid News Limited. Associated Press. Retrieved 4 September 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. 
  10. ^ "Thai Billionaire Who Created Red Bull Dies". NPR. AP. 17 March 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2012.