The Empire of The Family Business
Ferrero SpA In The Hands of The
Next Generation Giovanni Ferrero
A small child with a huge imagination is dormant in each of us, perhaps neither of us would answer negatively to the question of becoming Willy Wonka. Giovanni Ferrero, 56, fulfills his dream of being Willy Wonka and truly fulfills it in style. Giovanni Ferrero is at the head of the family empire, which he took over from his eye. But let's go back in time. The birth of Ferrero SpA It all started in 1946 when Pietro Ferrero (Giovanni's grandfather) was the founder of Ferrero SpA. Its main production was the nut spread Supercrema (Nutella's predecessor), which was a reaction to the lack of chocolate in Italy caused by the war.
"He had the inventor's syndrome," he says of his grandfather Giovanni. He woke up every hour, went to the lab, and woke up his wife in the middle of the night, saying: Taste it, this is a great recipe. The company was later taken over by Michele Ferrero, Pietro's son, who In 1962 when Italy recovered from the post-war bankruptcy, it improved the quality of Supercrema. The country was finally able to afford real chocolate and thus make the mixture add more cocoa and cocoa butter. , which today produces not only this sweet delicacy but also products such as Tic Tac, Kinder, Butterfinger sticks, and Ferrero Rocher.
Despite his great success, Giovanni Ferrero and his company are behaving very inconspicuously today. The secrecy and security of their culture are at a level that can be compared to NASA. However, some information about this billionaire and Ferrero can be obtained, so you can get to know him better in this article.
Giovanni Ferrero was born in 1946 and is the youngest son of Michele Ferrero. Until graduating from high school, he lived in Europe, specifically at a Belgian boarding school. According to, he continued his marketing studies at Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pennsylvania. Immediately after graduation, he joined the family business. Ferrer's first job for a family business was under the TicTac brand in Belgium. In 1997, Giovanni and his brother Pietro became the company's CEOs.
Pietro managed the company's day-to-day logistics, while Giovanni focused more on creative activities. Their cooperation was abruptly interrupted in 2011 when Pietro died of a heart attack. Giovanni thus remained alone in the position of CEO, with his father acting as executive chairman.
Takeover of the company
In 2015, his father Michele Ferrero died and the company remained only in Giovanni's hands. He held the positions of two CEOs and Executive Chairman until 2017 when Lapo Civiletti took over the position of CEO.Giovanni doesn't have the personality you'd expect from a billionaire, and he's always the more introverted one among the Ferrer brothers. Noah Kirsch of Forbes magazine described him as an inconspicuous and well-dressed man with a disarming laugh. At the same time, however, he added that he manages the role of the leader of an international company very well.
Since becoming the sole leader, Ferrero has violated some traditions. When he gained power of attorney over the company, he decided to appoint a person outside the family to the position of CEO. In 2015, he bought the Thorntons chocolate factory for $ 170 million, Butterfinger and BabyRuth from Nestlé joined the Ferrero Group in 2018, and in 2019 he also bought the biscuit part of Kellogg´s.
Even these entrepreneurial steps do not fall into the plans of his father, who wanted to develop the company only within their family. Ferrero commented on this with an interesting idea: "Tradition is like a bow. The more we stretch her string, the further we can shoot the arrows of modernization and innovation. " As John Hooper of The Guardian once said, the Ferrero Group is one of the most secretive companies in the world. The confectionery manufacturer did not organize the first inspection of the factory in Alba until 2011, ie after 65 years of operation of the company.
7 years later, in 2018, the chairman of the company gave the first interview to the American media. The reason why it was not possible to get to the show until then was allegedly the secret of the recipe for Nutella and production technologies. According to an anonymous employee in the company, the management was afraid of spying and revealing their procedures. Ferrer's father behaved in a similar way, who hid the details of his life from journalists and always wore dark glasses when he appeared in public, writes the Washington Post. According to Forbes magazine, Giovanni now runs the company from Luxembourg. Ferrer's father Michele lived in Monte Carlo and worked in Italy, moving between the two places by helicopter. It is possible that Giovanni chooses a similar style.