- LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault has unseated Elon Musk as the world’s second-richest person.
- Arnault and his family control 47.5% of LVMH, which owns brands like Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co.
- Four of Arnault’s adult children hold executive positions within LVMH.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Elon Musk appears to have been unseated as the world’s second-richest person.
According to Forbes’ real-time billionaires list, Musk has been eclipsed by Bernard Arnault, the CEO of French luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton. As of Tuesday morning, Arnault’s fortune was pegged at $176.3 billion while Musk’s clocked in at $174.6 billion.
Another real-time wealth tracker, Bloomberg’s billionaires list, still has Arnault in fourth position with a net worth of $146 billion and Musk in the No. 2 slot with $183 billion.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos remains the richest person in the world with a net worth of $197 billion.
Arnault and his family control 47.5% of LVMH, and his surge in wealth appears to be the result of an impressive first quarter for the company. The luxury house, which owns over 70 brands including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Fendi, Moët & Chandon, Hennessy, and Veuve Clicquot, recorded 14 billion euros in revenue – about $16.9 billion – in the first quarter, up 32% from the same quarter in 2020.
Following multiple quarters of declining growth due to the pandemic, the company said it saw strong sales in fashion and leather goods in the beginning of the year. LVMH also noted a uptick in alcohol sales in the first quarter, particularly when it comes to Champagne: Champagne volumes were up 22% compared to the same time last year as vaccinations continue worldwide.
Last fall, LVMH completed its nearly $16 billion acquisition of jeweler Tiffany & Co., a history-making deal in the luxury sector. The contentious deal came after multiple lawsuits, a public war of words, and a $400 million discount.
Following the acquisition, Arnault’s 28-year-old son, Alexandre, was named Tiffany’s executive vice president of product and communications following a stint at the helm of LVMH-owned luggage brand Rimowa. Last June, Arnault’s 26-year-old son, Frédéric, was named CEO of Tag Heuer, the luxury watch brand also owned by LVMH. Arnault’s daughter, Delphine, is the executive vice president of Louis Vuitton, and his son, Antoine, is the CEO of Berluti and chairman of Loro Piana, two fashion houses owned by LVMH.