Jorge Lemann: He Is ... the World's Most Interesting Billionaire

He played Wimbledon. He spearfishes. He surfs 30-foot waves. His companies are worth $187 billion. He controls your ketchup, your beer, your Whoppers. Warren Buffett calls him “classy.” He is ...
Photograph by Agencia Globo

After they sold H.J. Heinz to Warren Buffett and a bunch of Brazilians in June, the ketchup manufacturer’s outgoing board of directors met for dinner at Pittsburgh’s Duquesne Club to congratulate themselves on a job well done. Twenty-three billion dollars had just changed hands. The takeover price, at $72.50 a share, was almost 20 percent higher than the company’s recent all-time high. “We said we’re all going to miss each other, but we felt we had done right by the shareholders,” says Dean O’Hare, who’d sat on the board since 2000. Heinz is an institution in Pittsburgh—the Steelers play at Heinz Field, locals of means like to get married at Heinz Memorial Chapel—and Buffett’s presence allayed fears that the 144-year-old company would be dismantled. “Seeing the name on the letter was very important to us,” O’Hare says.

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