Cargill Inc., one of the largest privately held corporations in the United States, has a fascinating past and its present is in the hands of Austen Cargill, II – an interesting character in his own right. He is a man who has successfully managed to keep a low profile despite his powerful status. Let’s take a closer look at the billionaire behind the corporate empire, exploring aspects of his life that are less known.

1. Heir To Massive Wealth

Austen S. Cargill, II., is an heir to the massive wealth of Cargill, the largest privately held company in America. The company was founded in 1865 by W.W. Cargill, Austen’s great-grandfather, and since then, the Cargill family has managed to keep control of the corporate giant, ensuring its financial well-being.

According to Forbes’ billionaire list, Austen Cargill, II., is considered one of the richest individuals globally, a stark contrast to his rather simple lifestyle. Despite his enormous wealth, Austen considers himself a steward of the company’s money and assets, positioning the company for long-term growth.

2. A Man of Science

Despite inheriting a business empire, Austen Cargill, II., chose to follow his passion for science. He holds a doctorate degree in Physiology from the University of Minnesota. His love for science saw him provide notable contributions to the field of physiology, with several scientific papers published under his name.

He is particularly interested in cellular physiology and has done extensive research on how cells function. His fascination with scientific research has also resulted in his involvement in various philanthropic causes, particularly those related to medical research.

3. Privacy is Key

Although he is a billionaire and a major part of a leading U.S. company, Austen Cargill, II., prioritizes his privacy. Unlike other billionaires who are frequently in the spotlight, Austen tends to keep a low profile. There are very few public interviews or appearances of Austen, and he rarely discloses information about himself or his family’s organization.

This approach has often been referred to as the “Cargill Way” of doing business, which places great emphasis on discretion and confidentiality. This high level of privacy is maintained not just in his personal life but also in Cargill’s business operations where a lack of publicly disclosed information is standard.

4. Philanthropy

Despite his insistence on privacy, Austen Cargill, II. has made a name in the field of philanthropy. He has consistently exhibited philanthropic gestures, supporting various causes. His primary focus has been medical research, with significant contributions to initiatives and institutions dedicated to finding cures for various diseases.

In addition to supporting medical research, Austen Cargill, II., has also donated considerable sums of money to other causes. He is a significant contributor to arts and culture, education, and the preservation of the environment, firmly believing in giving back to society.

5. Commitment to Sustainability

Austen Cargill, II. is a strong advocate for sustainability and has played a crucial role in steering the family business towards sustainable practices. He guided Cargill to adopt eco-friendly packaging and to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.

Cargill has embarked on a mission to establish itself as a leader in sustainable operations in the food and agriculture industry. Austen’s passion for the environment and his influence within the company have played pivotal roles in these efforts.

6. Avid Huntsman

Austen Cargill, II. is a passionate outdoorsman and keen hunter. Known for his love for this pastime, he channels his energy into environmental conservation efforts. This love for nature has driven him to get hands-on in sustaining local ecosystems.

One way he marries his passion with his desire for nature conservation is through wildlife habitat management. His commitment to this cause is evident in his efforts to maintain animal populations within healthy bounds, frequently through his personal involvement.

7. Publicity Withdrawal

Unlike most other influential personalities, Austen Cargill, II., has continually avoided any form of media attention. He values his privacy and is rarely seen giving interviews or attending public events. Being publicity shy, he strives to maintain a low-key presence in public life.

This insistence on privacy, however, does not signify that he is inactive in his company’s matters. On the contrary, he is actively involved in executive decisions and plays a significant part in guiding Cargill’s operations and growth strategies.

8. Cargill’s Move to Renewable Energy

Under the leadership of Austen Cargill, II., Cargill has begun to shift its focus to renewable energy, a major departure from its traditional businesses. The company has invested heavily in renewable energy technologies and projects as part of its commitment to sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint.

This shift to renewable energy represents a significant recalibration of the company’s future direction. This move signifies Austen’s commitment to reshaping the company for the future while aligning it with environmental imperatives.

9. The Great-great-grandson of Founder W. W. Cargill

Austen Cargill, II., is the great-great-grandson of W.W. Cargill, the founder of Cargill. The Cargill family maintains control over the organization and Austen, being a significant stakeholder, plays a vital role in the company’s expansion strategies and decisions.

This lineage and significant role within one of the world’s most powerful corporations offer a glimpse into the singular nature of his career. Despite the immense responsibility and the immense wealth at his disposal, Austen remains grounded and focused on his personal and professional commitments.

10. Private Family Life

Leading a balanced life seems crucial to Austen Cargill, II., and extending his private life habits to his family is no exception. He employs the same discretion in his family affairs as he does in business, maintaining a high level of privacy.

Despite the wealth and powerful status of his family, he values simplicity in his family life, choosing to live and raise his children away from the public eye, relishing the joys of parenthood unperturbed by media scrutiny.

Austen S. Cargill, II., despite his wealth and power, is an enigmatic character who remains much of a mystery to the outside world due to his insistence on privacy. This peek into the lesser-known facts about his life, business, and family gives us a glimpse of the man behind one of the largest private food corporations in the world, highlighting its growth under his visionary leadership.

Forbes Profile, Cargill Inc.