Bernard Arnault, 72, chairman and chief executive of LVMH Moët Henness, went past Amazon head Jeff Bezos to become the richest man with a net worth of $186.3 billion, $300 million more than Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. However, Arnault could not stay on top longer and Bezos is back with a fortune of $188.2 billion. At the time of publishing the news, Arnault was at $187.3 billion.
Luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Dior, Celine, Moët, Hennessy, and now Tiffany fall under the umbrella of LVMH. Also known as ‘the wolf in cashmere’, Arnault started as a little-known businessman, living in New Rochelle, N.Y. and working for his families real estate business. After returning to France in 1984, he bought a bankrupt company, Agach-Willot-Boussac which also owned Dior fashion house, and turned it around. He renamed the company Financiere Agache and nurtured it back to the top.
Besides, Bezos and Arnault, Tesla’s Elon Musk is comfortably placed at third with a net worth of $152.5 billion, followed by Bill Gates with $126 billion, and Mark Zuckerberg with $117.7 billion. Francoise Bettencourt Meyers is the richest women and comes in at 11th position with $88 billion. Richest the Asian, Mukesh Ambani, is on 12th position with a net worth of $77.3 billion.
Unlike many things in 2020 and 2021, LVMH has been unaffected by COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and saw its sales soar. Between April 2020 and February 2021, the company’s share price gained by over 65%. The brand is particularly popular among Chinese and US shoppers. Shares of LVMH rose 0.4% during the initial trading hours on Monday, taking its market cap to $320 billion and taking Arnault’s fortune by over $600 million.