The 95-Year-Old CEO Of Tootsie Roll Industries Has Died

If someone had asked me where Tootsie Rolls come from earlier today, I probably would have guessed that they’re a brand owned by a major candy-maker, like Hershey, M&M/Mars, or Nestle. I’m not paying close enough attention to my candy, apparently: Tootsie Roll Industries is a publicly traded company based in Chicago that also makes Junior Mints, Dots, Andes, and Blow-Pops.

Yesterday, the 95-year-old CEO of Tootsie Roll Industries, Melvin Gordon, died after what was described as “a brief illness.” He had been in that job for more than 50 years, and he and his wife together own 49% of the company. After his passing, his wife, Ellen Gordon, will take over as CEO. She’s a relatively youthful 83 years old.

Tootsie Roll Industries stock has gone up since the announcement of Mr. Gordon’s death––yep, already. Investors speculate that Mrs. Gordon will sell the company. Speculation about the future of Tootsie Roll has been happening for years due to the age of its leaders (its board members are mostly over 70) and a recent increase in candy industry mergers and acquisitions. The Gordons worked hard to stay independent, and only acquired brands that fit well with its existing product lines.

Tootsie Roll’s 95-Year-Old CEO Dies; His Wife Takes Reins [Bloomberg News]

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