This week the Family Business Office, for its 31st edition of Focus On , features American billionaire businessman and second generation heir of the American family business Koch industries.
Charles G. Koch, born 1st November, 1935, is chairman of the board and CEO of Koch Industries, a position he has held since 1967. Since then, the company has transformed into a dynamic and diverse group of companies focused on value creation that helps people improve their lives.
Charles’ father , Fred C. Koch, co-founder of what is now his namesake, Koch Industries, grew up in Texas and trained as an engineer. He developed an improved method of converting heavy oil into gasoline and was involved in refining, engineering and ranching businesses prior to his death in 1967. Now led by his son Charles, who joined the company in 1961, Koch Industries has grown from those modest beginnings into the second-largest privately held family business in North America, according to Forbes, and a global conglomerate with annual revenues of more than $60 billion.
As of January 2022, Charles Koch was ranked as the 21st richest person in the world on Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with an estimated net worth of $61.1 billion. Koch has been co-owner, chairman, and chief executive officer of Koch Industries since 1967, while his late brother David Koch served as executive vice president. Charles and David each owned 42% of the conglomerate. The brothers inherited the business from their father, Fred C. Koch, then expanded the business.
Originally involved exclusively in oil refining and chemicals, Koch Industries now includes process and pollution control equipment and technologies, polymers and fibers, minerals, fertilizers, commodity trading and services, forest and consumer products, and ranching.
Koch Industries is the largest privately held family business by revenue in the United States, according to Forbes. An insight to the sheer size of Koch industries as it features a total of 122,000 employees in 70 + countries with 62,000 in the U.S. alone. 30 Billion USD has been invested in technology related industries, whilst 90 % of earnings have been reinvested back into the family business.
Koch also supports a number of libertarian think tanks, including the Institute for Humane Studies, the Ayn Rand Institute, and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He also contributes to the Republican Party and candidates, libertarian groups, and various charitable and cultural institutions. He co-founded the Washington, D.C.-based Cato Institute. Through the Koch Cultural Trust, founded by Charles Koch’s wife, Elizabeth, the Koch family has also funded artistic projects and creative artists. Along with his brother, Koch has been an important funder of think tanks that lobby to oppose environmental regulation.
( All factual and statistical information presented in this blog has been obtained from an extract of articles found on kochind.com and Wikipedia biographies.com ) Follow us on our Facebook page and Family Business Office website at www.familybusiness.org.mt
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