This week Family Business Office for its third edition of Focus On World Business Leaders brings you Guido Barilla , chairman of Barilla, and the fourth-generation heir to the pasta fortune that he shares with his three billionaire siblings.
Barilla is the largest pasta company in the world with an estimated $4 billion in annual revenue and was founded in 1877 in Parma, Italy
Barilla has grown by acquiring companies in France, Turkey and Greece; it also has two pasta plants in the U.S.
The family sold out to American firm W.R. Grace in 1971 but Pietro Barilla, Guido’s father, bought it back eight years later.
Barilla and its four billionaire heirs, siblings Guido, Paolo, Luca and Emanuella equally split 85% ownership of the subsidiary that makes Barilla-brand pasta. Guido Barilla is the company’s longtime CEO, while brothers Paolo and Luca have helped him run the firm for decades. Each has an estimated $1.5 billion fortune.
Focus on takes a look at the company’s main shareholder and family business leader , Guido Barilla.
Guido spent two years studying in the United States, including one year at Boston College, before returning to Italy to study philosophy at the University of Milan. He began his career in 1982 with a two-year experience abroad in the Sales Department at Barilla France, a subsidiary of the Barilla group. He then worked at several food companies in the United States.
In 1986, upon returning to the Barilla group’s headquarters in Parma, he became a company executive responsible primarily for the group’s international expansion. That same year, he was appointed to the board of directors of Barilla G. e R. F.lli S.p.A., and subsequently named Vice Chairman in 1988. Following his father’s death in 1993, he became Chairman of the board of directors of Barilla G. e R. F.lli S.p.A. and group Chairman as of 2003. In 2009, he became Chairman of the advisory board of the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition (BCFN), now known as the BCFN Foundation.
Established in 1877, Guido turned it into what it is now an international Group present in more than 100 countries. A world leader in the markets of pasta and ready–to–use sauces in continental Europe, bakery products in Italy and crispbread in Scandinavia, the Barilla Group is recognized worldwide as a symbol of Italian know–how. “
A famous situation arose in Guido’s statement You can’t always please everyone not to displease anyone and what Guido said subsequently was quite a statement and caused quite a stir. Subsequently comments to rectify were made and published.
Barilla owns 13 brands and each year produces 1.7million tons of products which are distributed to 100 countries so family businesses do not get quite bigger than this.
Family Business Office will on a frequent basis be offering insights into World Family Business Leaders through our Focus On features. Follow us on our Facebook page and Family Business Office website at www.familybusiness.org.mt
At the Family Business Office we can offer you assistance in dealing with family business issues through incentives supporting advisory and mediation services. Contact us today on [email protected].