Bernard Arnault, Chairman of LVMH, is Europe’s new wealthiest man. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the luxury goods tycoon has overtaken Amancio Ortega of Spain as the wealthiest man on the continent. Ortega is the owner of Inditex, the world’s largest clothing retailer.
According to LVMH:
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.