Giovanni Ferrero looks more like a poet than a business magnate. The 52-year-old head of the Italian chocolate empire has had three novels published and might have been working on a fourth if he wasn’t busy running the family business.
His elder brother Pietro died in an accident in South Africa in 2011 and since his father, family patriarch Michele Ferrero, passed away in 2015, Mr. Ferrero has been the sole chief executive of one of the world’s largest chocolate producers.
Despite still being a family-owned company, Ferrero is a global enterprise with sales of €10 billion ($10.9 billion) in 2016, 35,000 employees and products sold in 160 countries. Giovanni’s mother, Maria Franca Fissolo, is the head of the family holding company, which includes 78 companies worldwide and 22 production sites. According to Forbes, the widow is Italy’s richest person with an estimated fortune of $22.1 billion.