Chocolate company CEO Pietro Ferrero dies in biking accident
April 18th, 2011
03:35 PM ET
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A spokesperson for Italian confectionery company Ferrero SpA confirmed today that their joint chief executive Pietro Ferrero has died in an accident in South Africa. The 47-year-old father of three was traveling for business when he reportedly fainted and fell from his bicycle during a routine ride.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini released a statement saying, "Italy has lost a businessman who represented the best qualities of our economic history."

Ferreo's father, 85-year-old father Michele is Italy's richest man, having taken over the company from his parents Piera and Pietro who founded the company in the 1940s.

Ferrero SpA produces Kinder products, Nutella (which was invented in the back of Piera and Pietro's bakery), Mon Cheri, Tic Tac and the eponymous Ferrero Rocher. Mr. Ferrero jointly ran the confectionery group with his brother Giovanni.

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soundoff (131 Responses)
  1. Loriann Hilland

    Cycling is widely regarded as a very effective and efficient mode of transportation[5] optimal for short to moderate distances. Bicycles provide numerous benefits by comparison with motor vehicles, including the sustained physical exercise necessarily involved in cycling, that cycling involves a reduced consumption of fossil fuels, less air or noise pollution, much reduced traffic congestion, easier parking, greater maneuverability, and access to both roads and paths.,:

    My own blog site
    <http://www.foodsupplementcenter.com

    April 30, 2013 at 4:46 pm |
  2. disgusted

    I am disgusted at every heartless person in this discussion. Besides family members or friends or employees who have commented, not one of you other fools know this man. I was privileged enough to meet him (as well as his wife and 3 children) and work for their family in one of their stays in SA last year. Not once did I experience a "bad temper" with any of his employees or even family, I never experienced an "I'm better than you attitude" or "I have no time for those who do not earn what I earn attitude". In fact he he was a really down to earth person and an intelligent man and he made time to talk to those who worked for them and showed interest in what that person was saying. He was a fit cyclist and it was definately a passion of his, being that I studied sport science, we spoke about his interest and love of the sport. He cycles almost every day he is here (WITH A HELMET AND CORRECT CYCLING GEAR), either from his home in Hout Bay to his home in Clifton or starting in Clifton and ending in Hout Bay. Until an autopsy, not one of you know how he died and falling off a bike can happen for many different reasons resulting in a broken neck or damage to his head even through a helmet, and yes a healthy/fit individual can have a heart attack. If any of you knew exercise science you would know a thing called Sudden Cardiac Death which by definition: "Sudden cardiac death is a condition that results from an abrupt loss of heart function (cardiac arrest). It can occur in anyone, especially athletes with preexisting heart conditions. The athlete may or may not have diagnosed heart disease. The time and mode of death are unexpected, usually occurring minutes after symptoms appear. The most common underlying reason for adults to die suddenly from cardiac arrest is coronary heart disease (fatty buildups in the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle)." So yes on the outside to both himself and friends and family he could've been fit and healthy, but there could have been an underlying heart condition he had no clue about. Maybe you should research it and you will see it is not uncommon, soccer players have collapsed on the field due to SCD...and unless you know the signs and have the correct equipment (ie. a passerby will not), you will not know how to respond to CPR correctly. So all you idiots who have no idea about what can happen to an athlete, shut the hell up. He also has a family and just because he is wealthy (ie. you are all jealous of his success), you feel the need to assume you know him and talk the biggest load of rubbish about him. RIP Pietro Ferrero! My condolences to his family, friends and work collegues (including employees).

    April 20, 2011 at 10:57 am |
  3. disgusted

    I am disgusted at every heartless person in this discussion. Besides family members or friends or employees who have commented, not one of you other fools know this man. I was privileged enough to meet him (as well as his wife and 3 children) and work for their family in one of their stays in SA last year. Not once did I experience a "bad temper" with any of his employees or even family, I never experienced an "I'm better than you attitude" or "I have no time for those who do not earn what I earn attitude". In fact he his really down to earch and intelligent and he made time to talk to those who worked for them and showed interest in what that person was saying. He was a fit cyclist and it was definately a passion of his, being that I studied sport science, we spoke about his interest and love of the sport. He cycles almost every day he is here (WITH A HELMET AND CORRECT CYCLING GEAR), either from his home in Hout Bay to his home in Clifton or starting in Clifton and ending in Hout Bay. Until an autopsy, not one of you know how he died and falling off a bike can happen for many different reasons resulting in a broken neck or damage to his head even through a helmet, and yes a healthy/fit individual can have a heart attack. If any of you knew exercise science you would know a thing called Sudden Cardiac Death which by definition: "Sudden cardiac death is a condition that results from an abrupt loss of heart function (cardiac arrest). It can occur in anyone, especially athletes with preexisting heart conditions. The athlete may or may not have diagnosed heart disease. The time and mode of death are unexpected, usually occurring minutes after symptoms appear. The most common underlying reason for adults to die suddenly from cardiac arrest is coronary heart disease (fatty buildups in the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle)." So yes on the outside to both himself and friends and family he could've been fit and healthy, but there could have been an underlying heart condition he had no clue about. Maybe you should research it and you will see it is not uncommon, soccer players have collapsed on the field due to SCD...and unless you know the signs and have the correct equipment (ie. a passerby will not), you will not know how to respond to CPR correctly. So all you idiots who have no idea about what can happen to an athlete, shut the hell up. He also has a family and just because he is wealthy (ie. you are all jealous of his success), you feel the need to assume you know him and talk the biggest load of rubbish about him. RIP Pietro Ferrero! My condolences to his family, friends and work collegues (including employees).

    April 20, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  4. balto paul

    ... and in other news, the Prime Minister of Italy fainted and fell off a teen aged hooker, but survived.

    April 19, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  5. @JesusInChicago

    Will they bury him in a big clear case with a flip open lid?

    April 19, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  6. Capetonian

    Just to let everyone who's making assumptions and questioning the cause of his death.

    "Ferrero was cycling ... when he fell off his bicycle. A passer-by stopped to assist him and performed CPR. When ambulance services arrived they declared him dead. It is suspected he died of a heart attack."
    – Cape Times, South African Newspaper

    April 19, 2011 at 11:15 am |
  7. ziccy

    your all crying for this cunt he made money off child labour to sell all of your attention deficite children, ferreros! lets see his little smooth handed kids working the coco fields for a buck fifty a day (spit)

    p.s. the golden one is my favourite with tasty hazel nut inside

    April 19, 2011 at 9:36 am |
  8. Giuseppe

    Condolences to the Ferrero family for their loss. It seems he had a heart attach, and came off the bike. I find it strange that for an avid cyclist, it's a possible heart attack that got him. Meanwhile, nothing's been confirmed yet. Will just have to wait for the autopsy report.
    The place where he died is part of the route of the Argus Cycle Tour held every year in CT, South Africa. Stunning scenery looking out over the Atlantic.

    April 19, 2011 at 9:15 am |
  9. sharon

    no the old saying is that everyone has a number i guess his was up rip

    April 19, 2011 at 1:08 am |
  10. Arian

    A painful loss of leadership for the company and the family. Wondering any succession planning in place?

    April 19, 2011 at 1:04 am |
  11. Tiffany

    You're wierd.

    April 19, 2011 at 1:03 am |
  12. GM

    I, too, love the orange Tic Tacs! His grandfather, who founded the company, also dies at a young age–50. Just one year older. So it may be inherited...

    April 19, 2011 at 1:00 am |
  13. Willy Wonka

    I wonder what toy surprise was in him when he cracked open?

    April 19, 2011 at 12:57 am |
  14. les

    sorry to hear this news...i loved his company's products, but am sure they will continue despite his untimely passing...may god bless his soul

    April 19, 2011 at 12:54 am |
  15. Willy Wonka

    One at a time. Soon I'll have control of the entire chocolate empire. Who will be my next victim?

    April 19, 2011 at 12:53 am |
  16. Mirage

    A loss of leadership to the company and the family. Wondering any succession planning in place?

    April 19, 2011 at 12:52 am |
  17. Vince

    People fall and die every day So what? Hope he was saved.

    April 19, 2011 at 12:47 am |
  18. JOSEPH

    AAAAHH too bad. Dick CEO'S. Maybe Trump, will go riding soon. Or maybe Palin, Romney...

    April 19, 2011 at 12:22 am |
  19. Dev

    So are they going to bury him in a large version of a Tic Tac case?

    April 19, 2011 at 12:16 am |
  20. Sharon Karen

    Wow this is a chocolate tragedy. Chocolatefly.com had this news posted as well.

    April 19, 2011 at 12:06 am |
  21. steve

    Nutella Rules!!!

    April 19, 2011 at 12:04 am |
  22. Anthony

    You know whom I AM. "Come and get me."

    April 18, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
  23. Anthony

    Have anyone ever gotten ther asses whipped by KUTTA KQUINTAY'S desendants? Guess who's ass they are coming for next? Do you have a love of your life? Then certainly, you will feel the pain you have wrongly made me to feel,only difference will be that your heart will not survive.Only Time.

    April 18, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
  24. Kim Lowe

    I am appauled at the insensitivity of people who have commented. Do you have no respect? A son, father and husband has died in a tragic cycling accident and you joke about it.It is disrespectful. RIP.

    April 18, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
  25. Steph

    Helmet?

    April 18, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
  26. Sarah

    Wonder if he was wearing a helmet! My daughter is learnin bike safety in 3rd grade...just sayin? Helmet safety? Don't be an egghead?

    April 18, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
  27. Maureen

    Someday I hope there is a reality show where they track down all you insensitive clods who write such thoughtless comments and you are forced to look into the We Know Who You Are camera. Now how cavalier will you be when you can't hide behind anonymity? Will you feel the shame and embarrassment that you should for being the heartless, insensitive, immature commentators that you are? Grow up and get a life.

    April 18, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
  28. Jeepers

    That's sad. Those poor kids.

    April 18, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
  29. Dan K. Toquer

    He was probably trying to eat a Tic Tac while biking and then he choked on it, fainted, crashed, and landed on his head. Hopefully the Gods or Demons will target the Starbucks CEO next.

    April 18, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  30. ValleyGal28

    Accidents happen to the rich and famous. I feel sorry for his kids who won't have a dad around anymore. He should hav e been more careful, So Sad too bad!

    April 18, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  31. Anthony

    There is one whom you refuse to know that will break you and your machines. meger mere man.

    April 18, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
  32. James

    Oh no an obscenely rich guy died

    April 18, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  33. Anthony

    What is mean? Is it like crucifying somebody to a plank of wood and feeling like you grew another inch to your small penis?

    April 18, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
  34. Asche

    Not everyone reads anonymous discussion boards and lets it dictate their reality. Would be unwise considering any old idiot can post a message. No offense Kukkbhosad, I mean nothing by that, other than you're an idiot. Anyway, continue allowing CNN's discussion board and whatever other cheap, flippant and entirely valueless online trash set your moral compass for you. In the meantime I'll prepare my comment for your father's death – "Does that mean one less online troll for me to bash? Shi(t)!" Something like that anyway.

    April 18, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
  35. Kevin

    Reading these post remind me why I am armed at all times. So many people are heartless sick sociopaths.

    April 18, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
  36. Anne

    My condolences to his friends and family.

    April 18, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  37. Bicycling101

    Head injury? No helmet?

    April 18, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • brian_in_sf

      Heart a-tic-tack?

      April 18, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
  38. Michelle

    why are people being so mean on this forum?

    April 18, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
  39. Steve

    Although I did not know Mr. Ferrero in person, I actually heard a lot of good stories about him from employees and people close to the company. It is rare that a businessman takes such good care of his employees as he has done and he has inspired many employers. I am shocked at some of the insensitive comments made here, obviously by people who hear his name the first time today. A father, a true family man and all in all as far as I can tell a really decent guy died and my prayers are with his loved ones. Although I do not always agree with Mr Frattini, I agree fully with his comment on this untimely death. I know that in these hours there are many who mourn him and at least people should have the decency not to abuse this sad news to spread their weirdo agendas or bad spelling (which seem to go hand in hand). Guys, we all have to die eventually and the fact that you are making jokes about this man's death not only is a testament to your bad manners or lack of education (did your parents teach you to talk like that about dead people?) but also evidence of the fact that you are afraid of death. Well, surprise, there is nothing to be afraid of because Christ has already conquered death. Here is a man who as I have been told believed in Christ and tried to live accordingly. If one day that will be said about me when I die, that would be enough. All of you who think it necessary to make childish comments, grow up.
    Rest in peace, Signore Ferrero.

    April 18, 2011 at 9:17 pm |
    • Ferreros

      Thank you Steve for your comments, you are right. I'm also shocked how uncivilized and heartless people are, their comments made me sad. I work for Ferrero and we deeply grieve over this sad news and feel sorry. It's a big loss for his family, company and all of us. He was a decent man, cared for his employees. RIP Pietro Ferrero.

      April 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
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