Last Updated: July 1, 2024
Richest BusinessRichest Billionaires
Net Worth:
$25 Billion
Apr 26, 1925 - Feb 14, 2015 (89 years old)
Ogliani, Italy
💰 Compare Michele Ferrero's Net Worth

What Was Michele Ferrero's Net Worth?

Michele Ferrero was an Italian businessman who had a net worth of $25 billion at the time of his death in 2015. That made him the richest person in Italy while he was alive. Michele Ferrero was the owner of Ferrero SpA, the chocolate company responsible for Nutella, Tic Tacs, Ferrero Rocher, Mon Cheri, Kinder Chocolate, and Kinder Eggs, among others. He inherited the chocolate maker after his father's death in 1949 and eventually went on to grow the company into the fourth-largest manufacturer of chocolate and other confectionery products in the world. Maybe his father, Pietro Ferrero, was the mastermind behind the creation of today's Nutella, but it was Michele's business acumen that turned the product into a global brand.

Under his leadership, numerous other brands were launched, including Ferrero Rocher, Mon Cheri, Pocket Coffee, and the famous pocket mints Tic Tacs. Today, the company operates more than 70 affiliated companies, has 15 production plants, and employs nearly 22,000 individuals worldwide. In 1997, Michele's two sons, Giovanni Ferrero and Pietro Ferrero, took over the lead of the company, while he remained the patriarch of the Italian chocolate dynasty. The unfortunate death of Pietro left his brother a sole CEO of the group. Despite being one of the richest people in the world and the richest person in Italy, Michele Ferrero was widely known for being very secretive and was rarely seen in public without sunglasses. Michele Ferrero died on February 14, 2015, at the age of 89.

Early Life

Michele Ferrero was born on April 26, 1925 in Dogliani, Piedmont, Italy. He was the son of Piera Cillario and Ferrero company founder Pietro Ferrero. According to the official Ferrero website, "Pietro was the driving force behind the innovation and creativity that would later give his son, Michele Ferrero, the platform to launch the Ferrero company we know today. Pietro was renowned for his love of experimenting – he was affectionately known as 'the scientist' by his friends, always working to find new flavours and textures to surprise and delight at the pastry shop in Alba, Italy."

Ferrero SpA

Michele joined Ferrero SpA in 1949, and in 1964, he relaunched his father's creation, Pasta Gianduja (a cream made from cocoa and hazelnuts), as Nutella. After World War II ended, Ferrero SpA opened offices and production sites abroad, and Nutella became the most popular chocolate-nut spread brand in the world. The company is the world's largest hazelnut consumer, and in 2014, Ferrero SpA bought 25% of global production. Michele's sons, Pietro and Giovanni, became co-leaders of the company in 1997, and since 2011, Giovanni has been the sole CEO. In 2019, Ferrero SpA's revenue was € 11.37 billion. In March 2008, Michele surpassed Silvio Berlusconi to become the richest person in Italy.

Michele Ferrero


Personal Life and Death

In 1962, Michele wed Maria Franca Fissolo. The couple welcomed two sons together, Pietro Ferrero Jr. and Giovanni Ferrero. Pietro died of a heart attack in 2011. Michele was a devout Catholic and visited the Lourdes shrine in southwestern France every year. He also had a Madonna placed in each of his offices and factories. On February 14, 2015, Ferrero passed away after a long illness at his Monte Carlo home at the age of 89.


Ferrero was appointed a Knight of the Order of Merit for Labour in 1971 and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2005. The Order of Merit for Labour is an Italian order of chivalry, and the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic is Italy's most senior order of merit.

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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