On April 26 in the year 1925, one of the entrepreneurs who found wealth in the chocolate industry was born in Piedmont, Italy. His name was Michele Ferrero, the responsible for building Ferrero SpA to become one of the world’s largest confectionary companies.
Michele Ferrero was the son of Pietro Ferrero who owned a bakery and café. Although his formal education did not reach university level, he got intensive training in the family business. His time to take over the management of the candy business came in 1957.
In 1964, Michele Ferrero launched the now famous Nutella brand, a hazelnut chocolate spread in a glass jar. It was actually a rebranding of the company’s old Gianduja product with the addition of hazelnuts to produce a creamy version of it. In 1988, Nutella achieved phenomenal brand awareness when it sponsored the Italian national football team. Other popular products of the company include Mon Chéri, Kinder Chocolate, Ferrero Rocher, Tic Tacs and Kinder Eggs.
Being a devout Catholic, Michele Ferrero endeavored to practice the social teachings of the church. When he took over the management of the company, he promised to take good care of his employees. He immediately bought buses to ferry the employees to and from their homes. He also gave free medical services and other welfare benefits.
Michele Ferrero was aggressive in globalizing the company’s operation. Aside from sourcing his raw materials from different countries, he has built eight production centers in four continents and established sales offices in many other countries.
Michele Ferrero died in 2015 at the age of 89. He had two sons with his wife Maria Franca. At the time of his death, he was the richest man in Italy with a net worth of over $26 billion according to forbes.com.