Bernard Arnault overtakes Elon Musk to become the world’s richest person. Who is he?

Bernard Arnault, at the helm of the prestigious LVMH, has reclaimed the title of the world’s wealthiest individual, as Elon Musk‘s fortune dipped by over $18 billion following a significant decline in Tesla‘s stock value last week, erasing about $73 billion from the company’s market valuation.
Forbes’ live billionaire tracker indicates that the fortune of Arnault and his family surged to $207.8 billion, a $23.6 billion uptick, overtaking Musk’s wealth of $204.5 billion.

The stock of LVMH experienced a notable rise, exceeding 13% from its previous closing on Friday, elevating the company’s market capitalization to $388.8 billion. In contrast, Tesla’s market capitalization stood at $586.14 billion.
Arnault, aged 74, initially outpaced Musk in wealth in December 2022. However, by the end of that year, Musk, the driving force behind Tesla and SpaceX, regained his position as the wealthiest globally, surpassing the French luxury magnate Arnault.
On the other hand, Tesla’s stock plummeted by over 11% last Friday, leading to a $73 billion reduction in the firm’s market value shortly after it signaled a deceleration in the growth of electric vehicle sales and a looming challenge from Chinese competitors.
However, in Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, with $199 billion net worth, Tesla CEO Musk is still the richest person in the world, followed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. With net worth of $183 billion, Bernard Arnault is at Number 3.
Here are 10 things to know about Bernard Arnault:

  • Bernard Arnault, born in 1949 in Roubaix, France, graduated from École Polytechnique, Paris.
  • Began career at family’s construction firm, Ferret-Savinel, and became chairman in 1978.
  • Acquired insolvent Boussac Saint-Freres in 1984, gaining the prized Christian Dior brand.
  • Transformed the group into a profitable entity, revitalizing Christian Dior as a key asset.
  • Became chairman and CEO of LVMH in 1989, expanding it into a luxury goods empire with 75 brands.
  • Pioneered LVMH’s expansion into China, opening the first Louis Vuitton store in Beijing in 1992.
  • Oversaw LVMH’s $15.8 billion acquisition of Tiffany & Co in 2021, the luxury industry’s biggest deal.
  • Champions arts and culture through LVMH, notably donating €200 million to restore Notre Dame in 2019.
  • Maintains a low profile, sold private jet due to public scrutiny, as per a 2022 Radio Classique interview.
  • Family-oriented, with all five children actively involved in LVMH or its subsidiaries.

(With inputs from agencies)


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