Focus on World Family Business Leaders | Dieter Schwarz

This week the Family Business Office, for its 30th edition of Focus On, features German billionaire family businessman and second generation Dieter Schwarz, best known to be owner of the world known brand Lidl.

Dieter Schwarz (born 24 September 1939) is a German billionaire businessman, and family business owner of the Schwarz-Gruppe. He is the former chairman and CEO of the supermarket chain Lidl, and the hypermarket chain Kaufland. Schwarz inherited the family business from his father, Josef, who became a partner in Suedfruechte Grosshandel Lidl & Co., a fruit wholesaler, in 1930.

In 1973, Dieter Schwarz joined the “Lidl & Schwarz KG” business of his father Josef Schwarz and opened the company’s first discount supermarket, inspired by the brothers Albrecht, owners of the ALDI chain of supermarkets. We had looked at their story in our 24th Focus On in this series where we presented to you the story of Theo Albrecht.

After the father of Dieter Schwarz died in 1977, he took control of the family business. He became CEO and expanded the family business outside of Germany. Soon afterwards, Schwarz bought the naming rights for Lidl from an unrelated person named Ludwig Lidl, a former schoolteacher, in order to side-step a legal battle with the co-owner A. Lidl.

In 2009, he was estimated to be worth 10 billion euro. As of October 2012, he was estimated to be worth 12 billion euro, an increase from 11.5 billion euro in 2011. In 2013, he was estimated to be worth €19.6 billion, and ranked the 24th richest person in the world. As of February 2014, he was ranked as the 23rd richest person in the world in the Hurun Report Global Rich List.

According to Forbes Rich List , Dieter Schwarz real time net worth is 51.2 billion USD. Schwarz Group is owned by a foundation, technically a limited liability company, but Dieter maintains full control and is the effective owner.

The Dieter Schwarz Foundation ranks among the large German foundations; it becomes active where government bodies are not, or not sufficiently, able to meet the needs of the economy and society.

“Promote education, share knowledge, venture future” is the guiding principle of the Foundation, which supports with its commitment today what makes tomorrow’s society strong: a wide range of educational opportunities targeting people at different stages of their lives.



( All factual and statistical information presented in this blog has been obtained from an extract of articles found on and Wikipedia ) Follow us on our Facebook page and Family Business Office website at

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