One of the most mysterious female billionaires in the US, Lynsi Snyder, has stepped into the limelight for a rare interview.
Snyder is the president and sole heiress to In-N-Out, one of the nation’s most popular burger chains.
She barely talks to the press, but recently she agreed to sit down with CBS for an interview that aired last week.
When asked why she’s so secretive, she told the network, “We don’t want to be in the spotlight. We don’t want a bunch of attention. It’s not about us.”
The 33-year-old burger boss will inherit full control of In-N-Out when she turns 35. The chain, which has 304 restaurants in six states, has been valued at $US1 billion.
Her inheritance makes her one of the youngest female billionaires in the country. But her wealth has come with a lot of personal losses.
Snyder’s grandparents opened the first In-N-Out in 1948. After her grandfather died in 1976, her uncle, Rich Snyder, took over the the company.
He was at the helm until 1993, when he died suddenly 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 helm, 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.
She also has a couple tattoos, one of which says “hated” in Hebrew.
“It references John 15:18, where Jesus says — this is paraphrased — ‘Do not be surprised when the world hates you, for it hated me,'” she told Orange Coast magazine.
While she rarely grants interviews about her business, Snyder is even more tight-lipped about her family and private life.
She has been married four times, and has declined to say how many children she has from each of her marriages.
She also revealed in the interview with Orange Coast magazine that she was the victim of two attempted kidnappings.
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 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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