Billionaire Lemann rises to Burger King boss from `Joe Schmo’

By Fabiola Moura – Bloomberg, 09/20/2010

Jorge Paulo Lemann, second left in the first row. Source: Fundação Lemann via Bloomberg

Jorge Paulo Lemann lost his first job, as a financial columnist at Jornal do Brasil, after graduating from Harvard University in 1961. Then a brokerage he started almost failed during a Brazil stock rout.

“Right after that, his career just took off,” said Alberto Dines, 78, the former managing editor of the Rio de Janeiro-based newspaper. “If he had continued being a journalist, he was going to be a Joe Schmo.”

In three decades of deal-making, Lemann, 71, engineered the $52 billion takeover of Anheuser-Busch Cos., founded a firm that became Brazil’s largest investment bank and amassed $11.5 billion to become the nation’s second-richest man after EBX Group Ltd. owner Eike Batista, according to Forbes magazine. His latest transaction is a $3.3 billion takeover of Burger King Holdings Inc., the biggest restaurant acquisition in at least a decade.

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