Michele Ferrero was born on 26 April 1925 in Dogliani, the son of Pietro Ferrero, who founded the Ferrero company, and his wife Piera Cillario.
Ferrero married Maria Franca Fissolo in 1962, and they had two sons together, Giovanni Ferrero and Pietro Ferrero Jr.
From 1997, his sons, Giovanni Ferrero and Pietro Ferrero, co-led the company. Pietro died on 18 April 2011, after an accident in South Africa. Giovanni became the sole CEO.