Richard Oetker’s profile picture

Richard Oetker

Richard Oetker’s profile picture
Net worth 2018: $2.39 Billion
Residence: Bielefeld, Germany
Country: Germany
BirthDay: 4 January 1951
Sigh: Aquarius
BIOGRAPHY

Richard Oetker was bornon 4 January 1951 in Bielefeld, Germany, Germany. Richard Oetker is #1020 in List Billionaires People In The World. The Oetker fortune -- of which Richard Oetker is one of eight billionaire beneficiaries -- was built on baking and pudding powder. Now broadly diversified, Dr August Oetker KG -- a holding company whose subsidiaries employ some 26,000 people and generate around $15 billion in annual revenue -- traces its roots to 1891, when August Oetker, a pharmacist, started selling non-perishable baking powder. After World War II, his grandson Rudolf August Oetker, a former Nazi SS officer, quickly rose to prominence as the driving force behind one of Germany's most recognizable brands. In 1950, according to the family history "Die Oetkers," Oetker produced more than 750 million packages of baking and pudding powder. Personifying Germany's Wirtschaftswunder, or economic miracle, he developed additional food products and expanded into beverages, container shipping, financial services and luxury hotels. He died in 2007, at age 90, leaving eight children from three marriages. The heirs, who along with their families each own 12.5% percent of the conglomerate, have disagreed over the management and future direction of Oetker, however. Split into two camps, the rivalry is between the children from Rudolf August's first two marriages -- Richard, Christian and August Oetker, plus Rosely Schweizer and Bergit Graefin Douglas -- and the siblings from the third marriage: Alfred, Carl Ferdinand and Julia Oetker. Alfred was expected to take over as general partner from his half-brother August in 2010, but he was blocked by the older siblings, who instead crowned Richard Oetker. In January 2015, with a proxy fight pending before an arbitration tribunal, the groups agreed to recruit an outside CEO when Richard retires in 2017. Like his father and his brother August, Richard loves classic cars -- "Oldtimers," as they're known in Germany.

NET WORTH STATISTIC
2014

$1.65 Billion

2015

$1.3 Billion

2016

$2.1 Billion

2017

$2 Billion

2018

$2.39 Billion

TIMELINE
Richard Oetker (born 4 January 1951) is a German billionaire heir and businessman, who in 2010 became CEO of Dr. Oetker. In 1976 he was kidnapped by Dieter Zlof, a Slovene-born mechanic, and only released after a substantial ransom was paid.He was born in Bielefeld to Rudolf August Oetker (1916-2007) and Susanne Jantsch (1922-2012); his siblings are August Oetker the Younger, Bergit Countess Douglas, and Christian Oetker. He read agronomy and brewing at the Technical University of Munich and has held various positions at Dr. Oetker since 1981, the year his father retired as CEO. He has been married twice and has two children.On 14 December 1976, the 25-year-old student was kidnapped by 34-year-old Dieter Zlof, a Slovene-born mechanic who locked him into a crate and linked his feet and wrists to manacles that would give him electric shocks if he screamed or tried to break out. While Oetker was 1.94 m tall, the crate was 1.45 m long and 70 cm wide. In the early hours of 15 December, a noise sparked off a near fatal shock that broke Oetker’s thighs and two of his ribs as he thumped against the crate. His screams prolonged the shocks by ten seconds, and the pain was such that he briefly longed for death.He was freed for DM21 million, the highest ransom then paid in Germany. The abduction had lasted 47 hours by the time he was found in an Opel Commodore on 16 December. Zlof was arrested on 30 January 1979 on circumstantial evidence. Though he did not plead guilty, he received the maximum penalty – fifteen years in prison – on 9 June 1980.In May 1997, Zlof, who had buried the ransom in a forest around 30 km southeast of Munich, went to England to swap mouldy banknotes worth DM12.5 million for usable money. The rest had mouldered away in its cache. He was re-arrested, served out a two-year sentence, and confessed to the kidnapping in a 1997 autobiography which was written by his barrister’s wife.Oetker still suffers from the injuries he sustained in the crate. He spent four years on crutches, had several operations until 1994, and relearned to stand and walk. His lung had also been damaged as a result of his squatting inside the crate for hours on end.The 2001 film Dance with the Devil (German: Der Tanz mit dem Teufel) revolves around Oetker’s ransom. It stars Sebastian Koch as Richard Oetker, Tobias Moretti as investigator Helmut Bauer (who the script renames Georg Kufbach), and Christoph Waltz as Dieter Cilov. Zlof’s name was altered for legal reasons.
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