Mars, Incorporated is an American global manufacturer of confectionery, pet food, and other food products with US$ 33 billion in annual sales in 2015, and is ranked as the 6th largest privately held company in the US by Forbes. The company is entirely owned by the Mars family, however the company recently passed from family to non-family leadership.
It was founded by Franklin Clarence Mars, but his son Forrest Mars Sr. is credited with inventing most of the iconic products of the company. On his death Forrest Edward Mars Jr. inherited the company with his siblings, John and Jacqueline in 1973. Mr. Mars Jr. and his brother, John, were co-presidents of the company. Mr. Mars Jr. played an early role in the company’s global expansion as Mars tapped new markets from Africa to Russia.
Before joining the family company, Mr. Mars served in the U.S. Army and worked as an auditor for Price Waterhouse. He retired from active management in 1999, but served on the Mars board until 2006. He died on Tuesday in Seattle due to heart attack. He was 84. He is survived by his wife; four daughters; 11 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. According to the latest Forbes magazine rankings, he was worth about $25 billion.