Michele Ferrero

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This article is about the Italian chocolate maker. For the priest, see Michele Ferrero (priest).
Michele Ferrero
Born (1925-04-26)26 April 1925
Dogliani, Piedmont, Italy
Died 14 February 2015(2015-02-14) (aged 89)
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Residence Monte Carlo, Monaco[1]
Citizenship Italian
Occupation Owner of Ferrero SpA
Known for Nutella, Mon Chéri, Kinder Chocolate, Ferrero Rocher, Tic Tacs, Kinder Eggs
Net worth Increase US$ 26.7 billion (May 2014)[1]
Religion Roman Catholicism
Spouse(s) Maria Franca Fissolo[2]
Children Pietro
Parent(s) Piera Cillario
Pietro Ferrero
Website www.ferrero.com

Michele Ferrero (Italian pronunciation: [miˈkɛːle ferˈrɛːro]; 26 April 1925 – 14 February 2015) was an Italian entrepreneur. He owned the chocolate manufacturer Ferrero SpA, Europe's second largest confectionery company, which he developed from the small bakery and café of his father in Alba, Piedmont. His first big success was adding vegetable oil to the traditional gianduja paste to make the popular spread, Nutella.[3]

Early life[edit]

Michele Ferrero was born on 26 April 1925 in Dogliani,[4] the son of Pietro Ferrero, who founded the Ferrero company, and Piera Rocher.[2]


Ferrero joined the firm in 1949.[5]

He was the richest person in Italy, with a personal wealth of $26bn[1] surpassing Silvio Berlusconi in March 2008. In May 2014, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index listed Ferrero as the 20th richest person in the world.[6]

Ferrero's brands include Nutella, Mon Chéri, Kinder Chocolate, Ferrero Rocher, Tic Tacs and Kinder Eggs.

From 1997, his sons, Giovanni Ferrero and Pietro Ferrero, co-led the company.[7][8] Pietro died on 18 April 2011, after an accident in South Africa.[9] Giovanni became the sole CEO.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Ferrero and his wife Maria Franca Fissolo had two sons together, Giovanni Ferrero and Pietro Ferrero Jr.[2]

He was a fervent Catholic. Ferrero visited the Lourdes shrine annually, and had a Madonna placed in every factory and office.[5] Ferrero died on 14 February 2015, at his home in Monte Carlo, Monaco. He was 89.[10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Michele Ferrero Forbes Profile". Forbes. March 9, 2011. Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Story of a Family". Ferrero.com. 
  3. ^ "Sweet secrets", The Economist, 21 February 2015: 90 
  4. ^ "Michele Ferrero compie 85 anni" [Michele Ferrero turns 85]. Il Sole 24 Ore (in Italian). 25 April 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Hooper, John (28 October 2011). "Ferrero unwrapped: Italy's secretive confectioner opens its doors". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "Bloomberg Billionares Index". Bloomberg LP. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
  7. ^ Ferrero SpA – Company History. Fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-03.
  8. ^ Forbes. Retrieved on 2014-05-18.
  9. ^ a b "Italian chocolate boss Ferrero dies in S. Africa accident". 18 April 2011. 
  10. ^ La Stampa
  11. ^ Rhodan, Maya (15 February 2015). "World's Richest Candy Maker and Nutella Founder Died on Valentine's Day". Time.