Liliane Bettencourt, born 1922, is the daughter of Eugene Schueller, founder of L’Oreal. At the age of 15 she joined her father’s company as an apprentice, mixing cosmetics and labelling bottles of shampoo. Upon the death of her father in 1957, Bettencourt (her name through marriage) inherited principal control of the company. She later sold many of her shares to Nestle, for a 3% stake, after L’oreal went public in 1963. Her stake in L’Oreal in 2012 was about 30% of all shares, with Nestle owning nearly 40% of the remaining shares.
She is one of the oldest entries on Forbes’ List of Billionaires. According to Forbes, she is the 10th richest person in the world with a net worth of $40.1 billion.
In 2012, she made headlines again for selling her personal island in the Seychelles to a Swiss conservation group for £60 million. She is frequently ranked as the richest woman in the world and one of the world’s most powerful and influential women.