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Wrigley Jr leaves family business

William Wrigley Jr, the fourth generation of the family to work in the chewing gum empire, has officially left his position as executive chairman of the company.
 
No longer owned by the Wrigley family, WM Wrigley Company was sold to fellow family-owned company Mars Inc in 2008 for $23 billion in a deal Wrigley Jr helped orchestrate. (Click here to read our coverage of the story) A spokesman for the company said the 46-year-old plans to "focus on business and philanthropic interests in Chicago and around the world."
 
Further details of his departure were not disclosed but it is believed Wrigley Jr (pictured) could make up to $1 billion from selling the stocks he owns in the business.
 
Wrigley Jr agreed to remain as chairman of the Mars-owned subsidiary after the takeover was completed in October 2008, which saw two of the world's largest family-owned confectionery companies merge. The combined organisation encompasses some of the world's most recognisable brands, including Wrigley's Spearmint gum, Extra, Snickers and Mars as well as other leading food and beverage brands that total over $27 billion in global sales.
 
Wrigley was founded in 1891 by Wrigley Jr's great-grandfather, also named William Wrigley Jr. The empire was founded on the flagship chewing gum products Juicy Fruits and Wrigley's Spearmint gum, both of which remain popular today.

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