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US family businesses

January 26, 2015

Not one but two family business dynasties are in court this week, in generational battles questioning the decision-making ability of aging family members. 

Not one but two family business dynasties are in court this week, in generational battles questioning the decision-making ability of aging family members.

In the US, Tom Benson, the billionaire owner of pro-American football team the New Orleans Saints, will be in court over the future control of his sports and business empire.

And starting today in Southern France, 10 people will be answering to allegations that they capitalised on the mental frailty of L’Oreal heiress, Liliane Bettencourt.

December 18, 2014

David Luke III, who served as the fifth-generation chief executive of US paper and packaging giant Westvaco, has died in New York, aged 91.

David Luke III, who served as the fifth-generation chief executive of US paper and packaging giant Westvaco, has died in New York, aged 91.

Luke joined the family business in 1953, becoming chief executive in 1963, and stepping aside for his brother John to take over in 1988. He remained chairman of the company until 1996.
Six years later the family business became MeadWestvaco following a $3.29 billion merger. The new company had total sales of $5.4 billion in 2013.

December 9, 2014

Six months after the death of First Allied Corporation founder Malcolm Glazer, his son Edward has put his inherited stake in Manchester United up for sale, worth almost £30 million (€38 million).

Six months after the death of First Allied Corporation founder Malcolm Glazer, his son Edward has put his inherited stake in Manchester United up for sale, worth almost £30 million (€38 million).

November 27, 2014

A scion of the Mellon banking dynasty has been appointed chairman of a new trade association for Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

A scion of the Mellon banking dynasty has been appointed chairman of a new trade association for Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

Matthew Taylor Mellon II, a sixth-gen of the family behind the predecessor bank to BNY Mellon, is the founder of two digital currency companies, Coin.co, which processes payments, and Coin Apex, an incubator for start ups in the industry.

October 14, 2014

Abigail Johnson, third gen of the Fidelity Investments financial empire, has been appointed chief executive of the US giant.

Abigail Johnson, third gen of the Fidelity Investments financial empire, has been appointed chief executive of the US giant.

Boston-based Johnson, 51, will replace her father, Ned Johnson III, 84, who has been at the helm of the company since 1977.

Johnson has a 26-year history with the family business, starting as an equity analyst, and being appointed president in 2012, where she oversaw the company’s core businesses – asset management, retail and institutional brokerage, and retirement and benefits services.

October 10, 2014

Second gen Bob Fisher will become chairman of the clothing retailer Gap, which his parents founded more than 40 years ago, at the start of the next financial year.

Second gen Bob Fisher will become chairman of the clothing retailer Gap, which his parents founded more than 40 years ago, at the start of the next financial year.

The company announced on Friday that non-family chairman and chief executive Glenn Murphy, who has been at the helm since 2007, would be retiring next February.

Non-family member Art Peck, who joined the company a decade ago, will take over as chief executive, while Fisher, who joined the board in 1990, will become chairman.

September 8, 2014

The deeply religious founder of US fast-food chain Chick-fil-A, S Truett Cathy, has died in Atlanta, Georgia, at the age of 93.

The deeply religious founder of US fast-food chain Chick-fil-A, S Truett Cathy, has died in Atlanta, Georgia, at the age of 93.

Cathy, a devout Southern Baptist, was born into poverty, but died a multi billionaire due to the success of his family-owned empire, which had annual sales of $5 billion in 2013.

Cathy launched his first diner in 1946 with his brother, and two decades later opened his first Chick-fil-A store in Atlanta.

Today the company has 1,600 stores.

September 5, 2014

The daughter-in-law of Advance Publications president Donald Newhouse has been promoted president of global development at its magazine company Conde Nast International.

The daughter-in-law of Advance Publications president Donald Newhouse has been promoted president of global development at its magazine company Conde Nast International.

The appointment answers speculation about what role she would take in the family empire after trade publications division Fairchild Fashion Media, where she had been president and chief executive since 2010, was sold to Penske Media Corporation in August for $100 million.

September 3, 2014

The last member of the family that owned US newspaper Washington Post for eight decades, before its sale to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos last year, is to step down as publisher of the former family business by the end of this month, the company has this week revealed.

The last member of the family that owned US newspaper Washington Post for eight decades, before its sale to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos last year, is to step down as publisher of the former family business by the end of this month, the company has this week revealed.

Katharine Weymouth had been part of the business, bought by her great-grandfather in 1933, for 17 years and had been in her current role as chief executive and publisher for seven years.

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