Chaleo Yoovidhya
เฉลียว อยู่วิทยา
Born(1923-08-17)17 August 1923
Phichit, Thailand
Died17 March 2012(2012-03-17) (aged 88)
Bangkok, Thailand
  • Businessman
  • investor
Known for
Spouse(s)Noklek Sodsri (divorced)
Bhavana Langdhara
ChildrenChalerm, Saravoot, Jiravat, Suthirat, Prannada, Nucharee, Saipin Phaholyothin, Supreeya, Pavana Langthara, Sakchai, Thavis Pengsa[citation needed]
Parent(s)Seng Saelee, Thongyoo Saelee

Chaleo Yoovidhya (Chinese: 許書標; pinyin: Xǔ Shūbiāo; Thai: เฉลียว อยู่วิทยา, RTGSChaliao Yuwitayaa, pronounced [t͡ɕʰā.lǐa̯w jùː.wít.tʰā.jāː]; 17 August 1923 – 17 March 2012)[2] was a Thai businessman and investor. He was the originator of Krating Daeng (กระทิงแดง) and was co-creator of the Red Bull brands of energy drinks. At the time of his death in 2012 at the age of 88, he was listed as the third-richest person in Thailand, with an estimated net worth of US$5 billion.[3][4]


Various news sources suggest Chaleo was born in central Thailand at some point between 1922 and 1932.[5] The New York Times notes that three birthdates have been put forward by different sources: "The Nation, a Thai newspaper, reported that he was 90, while several other news media outlets in Thailand said he was 88. Forbes recently put his age at 80." BBC News states, "Mr Chaleo was born of poor Chinese immigrant parents in the northern province of Phichit, reportedly in 1932, local media say".[6] The Australian and Time say he was 89.[7][8] The Telegraph and The Independent say he was born in 1923 to a poor Thai Chinese family that raised ducks and traded fruit in Phichit.[2][9] His father was an immigrant from Hainan.[10]

With little formal education, he worked for his parents, then moved to Bangkok. He became an antibiotics salesman, before quitting to set up his own small pharmaceutical company, TC Pharmaceuticals, in the early-1960s.[11][2][9] Later, after a claimed stroke of "divine inspiration", he developed an energy-boosting beverage that was first introduced in 1976. The logo depicts two large, red bulls charging each other. The bulls are not cattle, but wild gaur, a bovine species native to Southeast Asia and called krathing (กระทิง) in Thai.

Dietrich Mateschitz, an Austrian salesman for a German company, found the drink cured his jet lag,[2][9] and entered into partnership with Chaleo in 1984.[2] In 1987, the two launched an export version labelled "Red Bull", for which Chaleo provided the original formula (adapted for Western tastes under Mateschitz's guidance[12]), and Mateschitz the marketing. Each put up US$500,000 for 49 per cent of the Red Bull energy drink franchise, with Chaleo's son, Chalerm, owning the remaining two per cent.[9] Chaleo continued to own TC Pharmaceuticals, which manufactured other energy drinks in Thailand, and was also part-owner of Piyavate Hospital, a private hospital in Thailand, and co-owner of the sole authorized importer of Ferrari Italian luxury sports cars into Thailand.


Chaleo died in Bangkok on 17 March 2012.[2]

See also


  1. ^ "#1 Chaleo Yoovidhya". Retrieved 17 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Chaleo Yoovidhya" (Obituary). The Telegraph. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Chaleo Yuwitthaya dies at 90". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
  4. ^ "Chaleo Yoovidhya dies". Forbes. March 2012. Archived from the original on 17 March 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2012. Net Worth $5B As of March 2012 #205 Forbes Billionaires, #3 in Thailand
  5. ^ Segal, David (18 March 2012). "Chaleo Yoovidhya, Who Created Red Bull Beverage, Is Dead" (Obituary). The New York Times. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Red Bull creator and Thai tycoon Chaleo Yoovidhya dead". BBC News. 17 March 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Thai billionaire inventor of Red Bull Chaleo Yoovidhya dies aged 89" (Obituary). The Australian. 19 March 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  8. ^ Horn, Robert (18 March 2012). "Duck Farmer to Billionaire: Red Bull Co-Founder Dies" (Obituary). Time. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d Childs, Martin (21 March 2012). "Chaleo Yoovidhya: Recluse who created the Red Bull energy drink" (Obituary). The Independent. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  10. ^ Hong Nui China
  11. ^ "History". T.C. Pharma (TCP). Archived from the original on 24 July 2020. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
  12. ^ Roll, Martin (17 October 2005). Asian Brand Strategy: How Asia Builds Strong Brands. Springer. p. 199. ISBN 9780230513068. Retrieved 24 September 2012.