Thirty-five-year-old Lynsi Snyder just gained full control of one of the most popular burger chains in the US: In-N-Out.
Snyder inherited 50% of In-N-Out’s shares when she turned 30, and on Friday — her 35th birthday — she acquired the chain’s remaining shares.
The inheritance makes her one of the youngest female billionaires in the country.
In-N-Out, which has 324 restaurants in six states, was valued at $US1.1 billion in 2013.
Snyder’s grandparents opened the first In-N-Out in 1948 and she became president of the chain seven years ago.
Despite her public role as president, Snyder is famously reclusive and rarely talks to the press.
But in a video released in January, she offered some insight into her personal life.
She discussed her four marriages, the death of her father, and her past drug use in the 10-minute video, which was posted to the website Iamsecond.com.
After her grandfather died in 1976, Snyder’s uncle, Rich Snyder, took over the company. He was at the helm until 1993, when he died in a plane crash.
Lynsi’s father, Guy Snyder, then replaced his brother and remained in charge until 1999, when he died of a prescription-drug overdose. Lynsi was 17 at the time.
Seven years later, in 2006, Lynsi’s grandmother died and Lynsi inherited control of the company. She became president four years later in 2010.
Since taking the position as president, Snyder has expanded In-N-Out to six states from four. She has changed almost nothing else about the brand, which prides itself on a simple menu of burgers and fries.
Snyder calls herself an “organised, careful leader,” though she admits that she’s also a thrill-seeker.
“I’m a lot like my dad, a little bit of a daredevil,” she told Orange Coast Magazine last year. “I like an adrenaline rush. My dad took me to the racetrack for the first time when I was 2 or 3. … Anything with a motor, that was in my blood.”
She enjoys drag-racing and once pursued an amateur boxing career, according to the magazine.
Snyder’s personal life
In the video released in January, Snyder talked about how her father, Guy Snyder, battled drug addiction and was in and out of rehab facilities from the time she was 5 years old. He later had an affair, and her parents divorced when she was 12.
“It was really hard for me to see him fail and be weak because I knew how bad he wanted to be a good husband and good father,” she said.
Around the same time, in 1993, her father took control of In-N-Out from his brother.
Her father led the company until he died of the drug overdose in 1999.
“My world shattered,” she said. “After my dad died there was no way I was going to be alone.”
After her father’s death, Snyder married her first husband. She was 18 years old.
“It wasn’t right,” she said. “I paid the price with a divorce and jumped right into the arms of someone else.”
Then she said she started smoking pot and abusing alcohol.
“At that point, I pretty much realised I’m the outcast in the family,” she said. “I figured, ‘I’m divorced — I might as well embrace this.'”
She said she worried she would “meet an early death” like her father, and she eventually married again, had two children, and later had an affair. The marriage dissolved within six years, she said.
“I couldn’t feel like a bigger failure at that point,” she said.
She married a third time and had another child with a man she said married her for money and cheated on her for nearly four years before they divorced.
“The first time he cheated on me I thought, ‘Well I deserve it,'” she said. “It was terrible.”
Now, at 34, she is remarried and says she has finally found peace through religion.
Snyder says she has also been a victim of two attempted kidnappings.
In her interview with Orange Coast, Snyder said the first kidnapping attempt happened when she was 17 and still in high school. The second time, she was 24 and working as a manager at In-N-Out.
“I ran across the highway,” she told the magazine, adding that she knew her would-be kidnappers were suspicious because “they had a van with boarded-up windows.”
When asked about her future plans for In-N-Out, Snyder told CBS she would “never” take the company public or franchise its restaurants.
“The only reason we would do that is for the money, and I wouldn’t do it,” Snyder said in the 2015 interview.
“My heart is totally connected to this company because of my family, and the fact that they are not here — I have a strong tie to keep this the way they would want it.”
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