Died this Sunday 31, at the age of 58, São Paulo businessman João Paulo Diniz had a series of businesses in the most varied sectors. Son of Abílio Diniz, one of the most important and richest businessmen in the country, João started his professional life as a Trainee do Pão de Açúcar, a supermarket chain founded by grandfather Valentim dos Santos Diniz, in the 1980s, and which became a powerhouse in the hands of his father.
Graduated in business administration from Fundação Getulio Vargas in São Paulo, he spent more than five years in the group in the area of planning and important brand projects, such as the leadership of Pão de Açúcar Delivery, a home delivery system within 24 hours, with orders made via telephone or fax, and in the Specialcard credit card project, from Pão de Açúcar itself.
In 2003, he left the executive board, with all the members of the Diniz family, and joined the company’s board of directors. They held the position until French group Casino took control of Grupo Pão de Açúcar in June 2012.
Outside Pão de Açúcar, João Paulo opened a range of new business areas. Through the investment company Componente, he was a partner in companies such as the Bodytech gym chain, the developer Idea!Zarvos, with upper-middle-class buildings, and the Italian restaurant Forneria San Paolo, at Shopping JK Iguatemi, in São Paulo.
He also worked on the board of Península Participações, holding of investments by the Diniz family, and Instituto Península, a social organization founded in 2011 for projects related to sport and education.
A triathlon practitioner, like his father, he participated in marathons since the 1980s. He was part of the Brazilian team that competed in the Race Across America, whose objective is to cross the United States by bicycle, and in the Ironman, a famous race that includes 3.8 kilometers swimming, 180 kilometers of cycling and 41 kilometers of running. João Paulo’s last sporting participation took place this weekend, in Paraty, Rio de Janeiro.
The cause of death has not yet been confirmed, but family members suspect he may have had a heart attack or an aneurysm. João Paulo Diniz is survived by four children and his wife, Ana Garcia.