Maria Franca Fissolo: A Life Lived with Grace

Maria Franca Fissolo 1

Maria Franca Fissolo


Maria Franca Fissolo is an Italian billionaire and the widow of Michele Ferrero, the founder of Ferrero SpA, the world’s third-largest confectionery company. Following her husband’s death in 2015, Fissolo inherited his $23 billion fortune and is now considered the richest woman in Italy.

Early Life and Education

Maria Franca Fissolo was born in 1941 in Italy. Little is known about her early life and education.

Career and Achievements

Fissolo’s career was largely tied to her husband’s success. Ferrero SpA was founded by Michele Ferrero’s father, Pietro, in 1946. However, it was Michele who transformed the company into a global powerhouse, with iconic brands such as Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, and Kinder.

Fissolo played a key role in the company’s success as well. According to Forbes, she took care of the company’s administrative and legal affairs. She is also credited with coming up with the name Nutella, which was a combination of the words “nut” and “ella”, meaning “hazelnut” and “sweet” in Italian.

Fissolo’s biggest achievement, however, was inheriting her husband’s fortune upon his death in 2015. At the time, Ferrero SpA was worth an estimated $11 billion. Today, the company is estimated to be worth $38 billion, and Fissolo’s net worth is estimated to be $35.1 billion, making her the richest woman in Italy and one of the richest people in the world.

Personal Life

Maria Franca Fissolo was married to Michele Ferrero for more than 50 years. Together, they had two children, Pietro and Giovanni. Fissolo is known for being notoriously private and staying out of the limelight. She currently resides in Monaco.


Name: Maria Franca Fissolo
Born: 1941
Country: Italy
Sector: Confectionery
Companies: Ferrero SpA
Net Worth: $35.1 billion
Forbes URL:
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