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Maria Franca Fissolo Net Worth, Biography & Wiki 2017
Maria Franco Fissolo was born in 1918 in Piedmonte Italy, and is the widow of Michele Ferrero, who built the Ferrero Group into one of the worlds leading sweets companies, with its iconic Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread,. Maria is listed by Forbes magazine in 2015 as being the 32nd richest person, and 5th richest woman in the world, and the richest person in Italy.
So just how rich is Maria Franca Fissolo? Forbes estimate that Maria’s net worth is over $23 billion, with the great majority of her fortune having been inherited from her husband, and built-up through the success of the Ferrero confectionary company.
Maria Franca Fissolo Net Worth $23 Billion
In business and therefore wealth, Maria Franca Fissolo’s story is really based on that of the Ferrero family, who have built-up the Ferrero Group over more than 50 years, beginning during World War II in Alba in northern Italy, where Pietro Ferrero set up a lab to supply his wife’s pastry shop. Because of cocoa being rationed, Pietro utilised hazelnuts – a plentiful speciality of the region – to create the now world-famous spread Nutella. His son Michele took over the company when Pietro died in 1949, and expanded the range of products to include the well-known Kinder chocolates, Ferrero-Rocher and Tic-Tac mints. Factories were built in several European countries, as well as the USA, Australia, Brazil and Argentina, such that it is now rated the largest confectinary company in the world, employing well over 10,000 people and with sales turnover approaching $5 billion per year. Of course, Maria’s net worth is one of the main beneficiaries of these activities.
Michele married Maria in 1962, and they have two sons, who Michele appointed co-CEOs of the company in 1987, and who ran the company effectively under the watching guidance of Michele and Maria until Pietro’s sudden death in 2011. Michele died in 2015, but Giovanni is still the CEO – with Maria owning the bulk of the company – and plans to maintain the company in the family through his and Pietro’s sons; in fact all the shares have remained in family hands.
Maria Franca Fissolo is now approaching her centenary year, but still maintains an active interest in the Ferrero Group activities. As with most billionaires, she is a generous philanthropist, known particularly for supporting charitable works associated with the catholic church.