Getty Images/Marco Bertorello
At age 99 and with a net worth estimated at $25.2 billion, Maria Franca Fissolo is now the oldest billionaire in the world.
When David Rockefeller, the grandson of John D. Rockefeller and heir to his family’s oil fortune, died on Monday at 101, Fissolo replaced him as the oldest of billionaires, according to the website MarketWatch and a compilation of the richest people by Forbes magazine.
Fissolo is the 29th-richest person in the world.
She married into the Italian family that created the popular hazelnut spread Nutella and that still runs the Ferrero Group, a snack-food maker of products including Kinder Chocolate and Tic Tacs. Her husband, Michele Ferrero, died in 2015 at his home in Monte Carlo, and their son, Giovanni Ferrero, heads the family’s candy empire.
The next oldest billionaires are both 98: Henry Hillman, founding partner of a venture capital fund, and Chang Yun Chung, a shipping magnate.
Fissolo is the oldest but not the richest woman on Forbes’ recently released list of billionaires.
A record high 2,043 people made the list this year, 227 of them women, up from 202 last year. Most of the richest women inherited their money, Forbes reported.
Liliane Bettencourt of France, a cosmetics heiress, is the richest woman, with a net worth of $39.5 billion.