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May 24, 2016

Teresa Heinz to Turn Over Reins of $1.6 Billion Family Fund

The board of the Heinz Endowments has approved a succession plan for the $1.6 billion family foundation that will see longtime leader Teresa Heinz turn over control to her three sons, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Under a blueprint disclosed Monday, Andre Heinz, Christopher Heinz, and John Heinz IV will succeed their mother as the organization's chair for successive four-year terms, starting in October when she ends her 25-year tenure.

Ms. Heinz, 77, will continue to serve on the board and executive committee of the Pittsburgh-based foundation, which was built on her family's ketchup fortune and doled out $70.4 million last year. Speculation about future leadership has swirled since Ms. Heinz suffered a seizure in 2013, but foundation President Grant Oliphant said her health "was not a motivating factor" in the succession announcement.

“There was a sense it was important to do and the closer we got to the 25th anniversary of her becoming chair, the more it made sense to act now,” Mr. Oliphant said. “She was very mindful of this foundation having a clear succession plan in place and a clear road map for the future, and that she make that transition in a timely fashion while everyone was of a mind to work together.”