Anyone who was unnerved by that masked “King” on Burger King commercials who popped up in people’s beds and remained mute, just staring at them, until they ate something, has Brazilian investor Jorge Paulo Lemann to thank.
Lemann fired the company’s old advertising company last year, and got rid of the creepy King, who had been a staple in Burger King commercials for over 50 years.
Lemann, who was recently profiled in Bloomberg Markets Magazine, is founder of 3G Capital Inc. — the investment firm that bought out Burger King last year and took the company private.
Along with two business partners, Lemann also runs Stichting AK, a Netherlands-based company that owns a majority share in Anhauser-Busch InBev, the largest manufacturer of beer in the world. AB InBev makes famous beer brands such as Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck’s. He spearheaded the $52 billion acquisition of Anhauser-Busch by InBev in 2008.
The 72 year-old executive is worth $13.3 billion and is the second richest man in Brazil, according to Forbes.
The ventures in burgers and beer are just some of Lemann’s latest projects, according to Bloomberg. He’s famous in his native Brazil for starting the country’s first investment bank, Banco de Investimentos Garantia SA, amid a period of military rule and volatile markets. The firm, which was modelled after Goldman Sachs, succeed despite initial setbacks and was acquired by Credit Suisse in 1998 for $675 million.
Lemann isn’t defined by his assets in food and drink, rather – he is known for his aggressive management style and ability to cut costs and increase efficiency at companies he runs. After the famous Anhauser-Busch and InBev merger, he cut employee perks such as free beer and first-class flights for executives.
From young journalist to banker to executive, Lemann’s had a colourful life history. But he’s known for avoiding the media spotlight and flashy personal items such as sports cars and expensive clothing.
And if sitting a top a beer and burger empire doesn’t impress you – Lemann is apparently “good friends” with Warren Buffett, and once played at Wimbledon.
Fun fact: Chelsea Clinton’s husband Marc Mezvinsky worked at 3G at one point.