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.
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Mr. Bernard 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.
LVMH (Louis Vuitton)
In July 1988, Arnault provided $1.5 billion to form a holding company with Guinness that held 24% of LVMH’s shares. In response to rumors that the Louis Vuitton group was buying LVMH’s stock to form a “blocking minority”, Arnault spent $600 million to buy 13.5% more of LVMH, making him LVMH’s largest shareholder. In January 1989, he spent another $500 million to gain control of a total of 43.5% of LVMH’s shares and 35% of its voting rights, thus reaching the “blocking minority” that he needed to stop the dismantlement of the LVMH group. On 13 January 1989, he was unanimously elected chairman of the executive management board.
Bernard Arnault as a investor
In 2007, Blue Capital announced that Arnault owns jointly with the California property firm Colony Capital 10.69% of France’s largest supermarket retailer and the world’s second-largest food distributor Carrefour.
His Awards & Recognitions
- Commandeur de la Légion d’Honneur (10 February 2007)
- Grande Officeur de la Légion d’Honneur (14 July 2011)
- The Woodrow Wilson Award for Global Corporate Citizenship (2011)
- Honorary Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (2012)
- The Museum of Modern Art‘s David Rockefeller Award (March 2014)