Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH, has become the world's richest person, surpassing X owner Elon Musk. Forbes reports that Arnault's net worth reached $207.8 billion after a significant increase in LVMH's share price on Friday.
The financial leap places him above Musk, whose net worth is $204.5 billion. Arnault's success is attributed to his leadership at LVMH, a powerhouse in luxury goods with brands like Louis Vuitton under its umbrella.
Changes in market cap
LVMH's market capitalization hit $388.8 billion, showcasing the company's robust performance. In contrast, Tesla, led by Musk, has a higher market cap of $586.14 billion but faced a recent downturn.
LVMH's success is partly due to a 10% rise in fourth-quarter sales, driven by strong demand in various sectors, including fashion, perfumes, cosmetics, and jewelry. However, their wines and spirits unit saw a slight decline.
Who are the top billionaires
The Forbes real-time billionaires list reveals a dynamic competition among the world's wealthiest. Following Arnault and Musk are Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison, and Mark Zuckerberg, among others.
Indian billionaires Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani also feature prominently on the list.
Arnault's family and involvement in LVMH
Arnault, 74, has strategically involved his family in LVMH's operations, reminiscent of a real-life "Succession" scenario. He announced that his sons, Alexandre and Frederic, would join the board, indicating a family-centric approach to business.
The move is part of Arnault's broader strategy, which has seen LVMH grow through acquisitions and investments, including the landmark purchase of Tiffany & Co. and stakes in companies like Netflix and ByteDance.
Musk's Challenges and the Luxury Market's Resilience
While Arnault's LVMH thrives, Musk's Tesla has faced challenges, with its shares falling sharply and impacting Musk's net worth. The difference showcases the resilience of the luxury market, even as the tech sector faces struggles.
Arnault's first surpassed Musk in December 2022, a period marked by the tech industry's difficulties and luxury brands' robust performance against inflation.