The Brazilian behind your Budweiser and Whopper with ketchup

Jorge Paulo Lemann in 1986
Celso Meira | Globo | Getty Images
Jorge Paulo Lemann in 1986

In the U.S., Jorge Paulo Lemann is virtually unknown, even though he and his two longtime partners now control three icons of U.S. consumer culture: Heinz ketchup, Burger King and Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser beer.

But in Brazil, Lemann is a business-class hero, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

In his home country, "Lemann" is shorthand for pitiless efficiency. Last year he became Brazil's richest man, crowding out oil and mining tycoon Eike Batista. He is worth some $20 billion, putting him at No. 32 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, three ahead of Carl Icahn.

Lemann and his partners founded 3G in New York in 2004 to buy U.S. companies with the cash they'd earned from more than two decades of turnaround deals in Brazil. Now the combined market value of the companies they run is $187 billion—larger than that of Citigroup.

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