Maria Franca Fissolo

Meet the Nutella matriarch.

This article, written by , appears on Business Insider.

With a $22 billion fortune, the Nutella matriarch is the richest person in Italy

Maria Franca Fissolo is the richest person in Italy with a net worth of $22.1 billion, surpassing eyewear tycoon Leonardo Del Vecchio and drugstore behemoth Stefano Pessina, according to Forbes’ 2016 ranking of the richest people on the planet. Little is known about the personal life of Fissolo, the fourth-richest woman on the planet and the widow of Michele Ferrero, the Italian chocolate manufacturer whose empire includes household brands Ferrero Rocher, Nutella, Kinder, and Tic Tac.

The ranking comes one year after Ferrero’s death in February 2015 — he was previously listed on Forbes’ billionaires list as the 30th richest personin the world. Ferrero left his fortune to his wife and family, and he left control of the Ferrero Group, his $9.1 billion revenue company, in the hands of his son, Giovanni, who now serves as CEO. 

The 70-year history of the company began when Ferrero’s father, Pietro, set up a confectionary lab in northern Italy to supply his wife’s pastry shop in 1946. Pietro used hazelnuts in his recipes to make up for a shortage of cocoa caused by World War II. After his death in 1949, the Ferrero Group fell into the hands of his young son Michele, who introduced new brands and developed a global expansion plan. Read more at Business Insider…

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