Red Bull co-founder Chaleo Yoovidhya passed away Saturday at the age of 89 due to from natural causes. He owned 49 percent of the massive company that he created with Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz. That company was Red Bull.
In the 80′s, Mateschitz was travelling around Asia when he discovered Chaleo’s drink called Krating Daeng, which he found helped him cope with jet lag. The two businessmen teamed up, tweaking the formula for western tastes as well as adding carbonation. Their unconventional advertising paved the way for a brand that would ultimately become the most successful energy drink maker in the world, spawning a new genre of beverages and earning a permanent place in pop culture.
The beverage was coined Red Bull in 1987. Since then, the company has been known worldwide for its marketing in the action sports industry, including major events and sponsorship of athletes such as Travis Pastrana, Levi LaVallee and Pedro Barros, as well as skiers Sean Pettit, Bobby Brown & Simon Dumont.
Apart from its energy drink business, Red Bull also owns football teams, Red Bull Salzburg in Austria and Major League team New York Red Bulls in the United States.
According to the Bangkok Press newspaper, Thailand’s Princess Soamsawali is providing royal bathing water for the funeral ceremony, which is taking place this week in Bangkok.
Thailand’s Nation newspaper said Chaleo “Will be remembered as a business and marketing genius who put the Thai energy drink on the global map.”
This year, Forbes magazine ranked Chaleo as the 205th richest man in the world and reported he had a net worth of $5 billion. In 2008, he was ranked as the top billionaire in Thailand.