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September 17, 2008

Klaus J Jacobs, head of the entrepreneurial family behind brands such as Adecco, has died in Switzerland aged 71.

Klaus J Jacobs (pictured), head of the entrepreneurial family behind brands such as Adecco, has died in Switzerland aged 71.
 
The German-born billionaire worked for his family's coffee company from 1962 and led the company's ambitious expansion of its European operations in the 1970s.
 
He led the merger of Jacobs with Interfood in 1982, which created Jacobs Suchard, Europe's number one chocolate and coffee enterprise.
 

September 3, 2008

Thomas Bata, owner of the family-owned Bata Shoe Organization, has died aged 93 in Toronto, Canada, where the business is based.

Thomas Bata (pictured), owner of the family-owned Bata Shoe Organization, has died aged 93 in Toronto, Canada, where the business is based.
 
BSO is one of the world's leading footwear retailers and manufacturers with operations across five continents. It produces millions of its own-brand of shoes in facilities located around the world.

The company operates 5,000 retail stores, employs more than 40,000 people and serves one million customers per day. It had revenues of nearly $200 million last year.

August 8, 2008

Andrea Pininfarina, CEO of the family-owned car design group, has been killed in a road accident.

Andrea Pininfarina, CEO of the family-owned car design group, has been killed in a road accident. The 51-year-old was hit by a car on the outskirts of Turin while riding a scooter. He is survived by his wife and three children.

In a statement, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said he was "deeply saddened" by the tragedy. Andrea Pininfarina was "a leading personality of the country's industrial life and the representative of a dynasty that did so much for the made-in Italy brand around the world," the statement continued.

June 2, 2008

François Pinault and his son François-Henri have spoken of their “great emotion” on learning of the death of fashion guru Yves Saint Laurent.

François Pinault and his son François-Henri (pictured) have spoken of their "great emotion" on learning of the death of fashion guru Yves Saint Laurent yesterday. He was 71.

The Pinaults, billionaire family owners of France-based PPR Group, which acquired the YSL fashion house and brand in 1999, said that with his death "French fashion and indeed the world lose a genius."

May 28, 2008

JR Simplot, founder of the potato products giant of the same name, has died at the age of 99.

JR Simplot, founder of the potato products giant of the same name, has died at the age of 99. He is most well-known as the inventor of the frozen french fry,

JR's son, Scott, who is chairman of the firm issued a statement thanking the public for the "outpouring of love and condolences" the family had received as it mourned a father and a grandfather.

May 19, 2008

Robert Mondavi, founder of the winery named after himself, has died at the age of 94.

Robert Mondavi, founder of the winery named after himself, has died at the age of 94. The Mondavi family stated that the legendary vintner died peacefully at his home in Napa Valley, California.

May 8, 2008

Paul Gordon, chairman of family-owned Gordon Food Service (GFS), has died after a brief battle with cancer.

Paul Gordon, chairman of family-owned Gordon Food Service (GFS), has died after a brief battle with cancer. He was 84.

GFS, which was founded in 1897, is North America's largest private foodservice distributor with revenues of $5.9 billion.

Born on 13 July 1923 in Grand Rapids, Michigan (pictured), Paul was the first son of Ben and Ruth Gordon. At the time, Ben was working for his father-in-law, Isaac, in the family grocery wholesaling business.

March 17, 2008

The UK’s leading supplier of safety clothing and equipment has appointed a new non-family managing director.

The UK’s leading supplier of safety clothing and equipment has appointed a new non-family managing director. Family-owned Arco has appointed Nicholas Hildyard as joint managing director of the firm.

His appointment follows the untimely death of Jo Martin, aged just 36, on 27 February 2008, who had jointly managed the business with her cousin, Thomas, since 2003. Hildyard and Thomas will now run the firm together.

January 1, 2005

Losing a member of the family to death need not spell endless turmoil for a family business, says Fredda Herz Brown, but rather a way for a family to clarify its raison d’etre

Fredda Herz Brown is a managing partner at the Metropolitan Group. www.relative-solutions.com

Losing a member of the family to death need not spell endless turmoil for a family business, says Fredda Herz Brown, but rather a way for a family to clarify its raison d'etre

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