Bernard Arnault is the world's richest person for now

Jeff Bezos is no longer the world’s richest person—for now, at least. According to Forbes, Bernard Arnault, the chief executive of luxury goods behemoth LVMH. Arnault gained $1.9 billion in net worth on Friday as LVMH stock edged up by 0.7%. The Frenchman is currently worth $117 billion, up from $102 billion when he graced the cover of Forbes less than four months ago. “If you compare us to Microsoft, [we are] small,” Arnault told Forbes. “It’s just the beginning.” 

Bernard Arnault is the world's richest person for now

Arnault is $7 billion richer than Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, who remains the third-wealthiest person in the world, behind Arnault and Bezos. Gates would be richer than both men had he not given $35.8 billion, and counting, to charity over his lifetime.

Arnault’s LVMH has hit the ground running in 2020. This week, its beauty incubator, Kendo, acquired the rest of Kat Von D’s eponymous beauty brand. And LVMH also bought a tennis-ball-size rough diamond—the second largest in history—from Lucara Diamond Corp. on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. The 1,758-carat gem is a timely splurge, since LVMH made a $16.2 billion bid to buy iconic jeweler Tiffany & Co. in November. Tiffany shareholders are due to vote on the deal on February 4, 2020.

Bernard Jean Étienne Arnault (Born: 5 March 1949 (age 70 years)) is a French billionaire business magnate, and art collector. Arnault is the chairman and chief executive of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton SE, LVMH, the world's largest luxury-goods company. Net worth: US$117 billion (January 2020).

Six things to know about Bernard Jean Étienne Arnault:


  1. One of the world's ultimate taste-makers, Bernard Arnault oversees an empire of 70 brands including Louis Vuitton and Sephora.
  2. His luxury goods group, LVMH, posted record sales and profits in 2018, thanks in part to increased spending by Chinese customers.
  3. The arts patron is the visionary behind the $135 million Frank Gehry-designed Foundation Louis Vuitton museum near Paris, opened in 2014.
  4. Arnault and LVMH pledged over $220 million to help repair the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris following a devastating fire in mid April 2019.
  5. His daughter Delphine is executive vice president of Louis Vuitton, and a member of LVMH's executive committee.
  6. His father made a small fortune in construction; Arnault put up $15 million from that business to buy Christian Dior in 1985.

Short Bio:

Bernard Arnault is Chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury products group.

Born to an industrial family in Roubaix, France on March 5, 1949, Mr. Arnault attended the Roubaix lycée and the Faidherbe lycée in Lille. He then went on to study at the Ecole Polytechnique.

He began his professional career that year as an engineer with the Ferret-Savinel construction company and successively was promoted to various executive management positions before becoming Chairman in 1978.

Mr. Arnault remained there until 1984, when he undertook the reorganization of the Financière Agache holding company. He returned the group to profitability as he embarked upon a strategy of developing the world’s leading luxury products company. In the process, he reinvigorated Christian Dior as the cornerstone of the new organization.

In 1989, Mr. Arnault became the majority shareholder of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton, creating the world’s leading luxury products group. Mr. Arnault has been Chairman and CEO of the company since that date.

Mr. Arnault is also President of the Board of Directors of Groupe Arnault S.E. (his family holding company).

Mr. Arnault is married and has five children.
He has been awarded the honorary titles of Grand Officier de la Légion d’Honneur and Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres.

Best Bernard Arnault's Quote:

"I think in business, you have to learn to be patient. Maybe I'm not very patient myself. And I think what I've learned the most is be able to wait for something and get it when it's the right time. Bernard Arnault"


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