Richest BusinessCEOs
Net Worth:
$7 Billion
Oct 29, 1940 - Apr 12, 2021 (80 years old)
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What is Galen Weston's Net Worth?

Galen Weston was an English-Canadian businessman and philanthropist who had a net worth of $7 billion at the time of his death.

Galen Weston was a billionaire businessman who chaired his family's food processing and distribution company George Weston Limited. He was one of the top bakers in Canada through the company's subsidiary Weston Foods, serving as the owner and CEO of the leading Canadian supermarket chain Loblaws. Weston owned many other retail businesses during his lifetime, including Selfridges in the UK, Brown Thomas in Ireland, and De Bijenkorf in the Netherlands.

Early Life and Education

Galen Weston was born as Willard Gordon Galen Weston on October 29, 1940 in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, England as the youngest of nine children of Reta and W. Garfield Weston. His grandfather, George Weston, established the international food processing and distribution company George Weston Limited. The family moved back to its native Canada in 1945, but moved frequently as W. Garfield pursued various business ventures, including supermarket chains in Europe and North America. Growing up, Galen Weston worked in many of the stores that made up his father's retail holdings. For his education, he attended the elite St Paul's School in London, and then studied business administration in Canada at Huron University College and the University of Western Ontario.

Career Beginnings

In 1962, Weston moved to Dublin, Ireland, where he established his own grocery store. By 1965, his business had expanded to six stores, and by the end of the decade he had purchased a bankrupt department store that he renamed Penneys. Weston continued expanding his business, opening multiple Penneys stores outside of Dublin. In the early 1970s, he widened his grocery holdings by acquiring his competitor Quinnsworth. Weston also bought an interest in the Dublin department store Brown Thomas.


In early 1972, Weston was appointed the CEO of Loblaw Companies, the Ontario-based food retailer of George Weston Limited. The company was deeply in debt at the time, and appeared to be headed for bankruptcy. As the CEO, Weston consolidated operations and closed 78 Loblaws locations that were losing money. He hired designer Don Watt to remodel one of the company's Toronto outlets, resulting in dramatically improved sales. Additionally, Weston brought in new management and led a high-profile advertising campaign that featured "Star Trek" actor William Shatner. Among his other revitalization efforts, he invested around $40 million in the development of private label brands, including the No Name line, which consisted of 16 generic products in simple black-and-yellow packaging. Due to the incredible success of the line, Loblaws opened a store called No Frills that featured No Name products as well as a limited selection of discount items. Soon, older stores were converted into No Frills outlets. By the end of the 1970s, Loblaws had returned to profitability.

Continuing his success as head of Loblaws, Weston launched another popular product line, President's Choice, in the early 1980s. The premium line featured products endorsed by Loblaws president Dave Nichol. Loblaws continued to expand throughout the decade, becoming the largest and most profitable grocery retailer in Canada. By the 1990s, the company's popular No Name and President's Choice product lines accounted for $1.5 billion of its revenue, with sales extending into the United States. However, as part of a restructuring in 1995, Loblaws divested the last of its US retail holdings. Weston subsequently oversaw the further expansion of Canadian retail operations by purchasing Agora Foods and Provigo. In the US, he expanded bakery operations with the acquisition of Bestfoods Baking. Although Loblaws recorded its first loss in nearly two decades in 2006, it returned to profitability the following year. Several major assets were sold off in 2008, including Neilson Dairy and Stroehmann Bakeries. Loblaws subsequently acquired T&T Supermarket in 2009.


Other Business Ventures

Among his many other business ventures, Weston chaired the Canadian luxury goods retailer Holt, Renfrew & Co. in the 1980s. He acquired full ownership of the Irish department store chain Brown Thomas in 1984. Later, in the early 00s, Weston acquired the British department store chain Selfridges, through which he purchased the Dutch department store chain De Bijenkorf and the Montreal department store Ogilvy.

In the US, Weston and his wife helped develop the private residential development Windsor in Vero Beach, Florida. Combining Weston's interests in modern architecture and commercial planning, the development sits on 425 acres and contains 350 residences. It also boasts a full-service equestrian center and an 18-hole golf course.


Weston was heavily involved in philanthropy during his life through the W. Garfield Weston Foundation. The Foundation supports Canadian students through its Garfield Weston Awards and various scholarships, and contributes substantially to the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Additionally, it funds scientific research and provides financial support to an array of nonprofits. Beyond the Foundation, Weston served as president of the board of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and as the chief fundraiser and chairman of the Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific. He also made significant contributions to the Canadian conservative think-tank the Fraser Institute.

Personal Life and Death

In 1966, Weston married Irish fashion model Hilary Frayne. She later became a businesswoman, philanthropist, and politician, serving as Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 1997 to 2002. Weston and Frayne had two children named Alannah and Galen Jr., both born in 1972. The couple had multiple residences, including in the UK, Ireland, Canada, US, and the Bahamas. In the summer of 1983, Weston was the target of a thwarted kidnapping attempt by the IRA in Ireland.

In 2016, Weston retired as chairman of the family company, and was succeeded by his son. He passed away at his Toronto home in April of 2021 following a long illness; he was 80 years of age.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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