Mar 13, 2023

Masatoshi Ito, billionaire who made 7-Eleven a global giant, dies at 98

Japanese billionaire Masatoshi Ito, who helped turn 7-Eleven convenience stores into a global business empire, has died aged 98. In 1956, Mr Ito took over a small Tokyo apparel store business that had been run by his uncle then half-brother. Mr Ito later renamed it Ito-Yokado and turned the business into a chain of one-stop stores that sold everything from groceries to clothes. In 1992, Mr Ito resigned from his position at Ito-Yokado over alleged illegal payments made by three executives to yakuza gangsters to keep order at a shareholders' meeting. "In the early years of his relationship with Dr Drucker, the two would connect in America or Japan and spend long evenings discussing the world economy, the Japanese economy, and the direction in which Mr Ito should be planning," according to the Drucker School of Management, that counts Mr Ito as a major donor.

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