Bernard Arnault, the 74-year-old Chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton, has emerged as the world’s richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. With a net worth of $201 billion, Arnault has surpassed other prominent figures such as Elon Musk, thanks to his luxury products empire holding up better than the tech fortunes that dominate the ranking.
Born on March 5, 1949, in Roubaix, France, Arnault attended the Roubaix lycée, the Faidherbe lycée in Lille, and later studied at the Ecole polytechnique. He began his professional career as an engineer with the Ferret-Savinel construction company, eventually becoming its Chairman in 1978. In 1984, Arnault undertook the reorganization of the Financière Agache holding company, returning it to profitability and laying the foundation for the world’s leading luxury products company.
In 1989, Arnault became the majority shareholder of LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton, creating the world’s leading luxury products group and serving as its Chairman and CEO since then. He is also the President of the Board of Directors of Groupe Arnault S.E., his family holding company. Married with five children, Arnault has been awarded the honorary titles of Grand Officier de la Légion d’Honneur and Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres.
The Bloomberg Billionaires Index, published by Bloomberg News since March 2012, is a daily ranking of the world’s richest people, tracking the 500 wealthiest individuals globally. The figures are updated at the close of every trading day in New York, providing a comprehensive view of the world’s most affluent individuals and their fortunes.
LVMH’s portfolio includes renowned brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moët Hennessy, and Christian Dior. Although LVMH does not own Gucci, it did sell a majority stake in the Gucci Group to Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (now known as Kering) for $806 million in September 1999.
Arnault’s rise to the top of the Bloomberg Billionaires Index is a testament to his strategic vision and leadership in the luxury products industry, as well as the enduring appeal of high-end brands in the global market.