Bernard Arnault who owns Louis Vuitton takes over Bill Gates' position as the world's second richest person

  • French businessman and Europe’s richest man Bernard Arnault superseded Bill Gates as the world’s second richest person
  • Arnault is the latest entrant into the world’s most exclusive club of members with a networth of $100 billion or more
  • Arnault has a networth of $100.4 billion —- that is 3% of France's economy.
French businessman and Europe’s richest man Bernard Arnault superseded Bill Gates as the world’s second richest person, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates — who owned the position for about 7 years — is now ranked as the third richest person in the world.

Arnault’s net worth spiked to $107.6 billion this year — which is $200 million more than that of Gates. Bloomberg says that Arnault added $39 billion in 2019 alone and this is so far the biggest individual gain among the 500 people it ranks.

Earlier this year, Arnault joined the world’s most exclusive club of members with a networth of $100 billion or more, according to Bloomberg. Arnault then had a networth of $100.4 billion — that’s more than 3% of France's economy.

The 70-year old Arnault is the chairman and CEO of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, the world’s largest maker of luxury goods. He owns half of the shares in LVMH and 97% stake in Christian Dior.

LVMH manufactures and sells Louis Vuitton handbags, Dom Perignon champagne, TAG Heuer watches, and Rimowa luxury suitcases.

Four of Arnault's five children are a part of the LVMH empire. His daughter, Delphine is the executive vice president at Louis Vuitton, and the heiress apparent.

Arnault, who studied engineering at Ecole Polytechnique, marked his entry into the luxury good business when he purchased Christian Dior in 1984. He is also known to have a long standing rivalry with the second richest man in France, Froncois Pinault who is reportedly worth of $34.3 billion.

Arnault began his career as an engineer in his father’s civil engineering company Ferret-Savinel. He served as its chairman for many years before he entered the world of luxury goods in the mid-80s, a strategy that has paid off well.
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