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Who is Bernard Arnault, the man who overtook Elon Musk to become the world’s richest man?

French luxury mogul Bernard Arnault

Bernard Arnault, the French tycoon behind luxury-goods powerhouse LVMH, has surpassed Twitter’s Elon Musk to become the world’s richest man.

Both Forbes and Bloomberg reported that the Twitter owner had lost the top spot on their billionaire’s list to Arnault after Musk’s Tesla shares plunged on Monday.

In the past couple of years, the French businessman has consistently occupied a position in the top 10 of the world’s richest but his position stayed lower than Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg.

Who is Bernard Arnault?

Bernard Arnault is the co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of LVMH Moet Hennessy which oversees 70 fashion and cosmetics brands like Louis Vuitton and Sephora.

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Born in Roubaix, France, Arnault graduated from the elite engineering school Polytechnique.

Before moving to the US in 1981, he worked at his family business called Ferret Savinel.

In 1985, Arnault invested US$15 million to buy the textile brand Christian Dior. The 73-year-old businessman used his expertise in European craftsmanship to turn LVMH, the world’s biggest luxury styling brand.

Arnault’s net worth, according to Forbes, is US$186 billion.

Expanding his business to new horizons, Arnault turned LVMH into a luxury behemoth selling Champagne, wine, spirits, fashion, leather goods and much more through 5,500 stores worldwide.

Earlier this year, Arnault removed the age limit for chief executive officers that allows him to stay at the position until 80.

According to a report by Bloomberg, unlike his fellow billionaires, Arnault likes to stay under the radar and has rarely made any public appearances.

Bloomberg’s wealth index estimates that Arnault earns a vast majority of his fortune from his stake in Christian Dior which accounts for more than 97.5 per cent.

He has five children from two marriages who lend a hand in the family business.


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