Bernard Arnault is a French business magnate, investor, and art collector. He is the chairman and chief executive of LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy), the world's largest luxury goods company, which owns brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Celine, Bulgari, and Moët & Chandon, among others. Arnault is also the chairman of Christian Dior SE, the holding company of LVMH.
Arnault was born in Roubaix, France in 1949, and he studied engineering at the École Polytechnique in Paris. After graduation, he joined his father's construction and engineering company, Ferret-Savinel. In the early 1970s, he began investing in real estate, and he soon became one of the wealthiest men in France.
In 1984, Arnault acquired a controlling stake in Financière Agache, a luxury goods holding company. He then began acquiring luxury brands, starting with the purchase of Boussac, a textile company that owned Christian Dior. Over the next several years, Arnault continued to acquire luxury brands, such as Loewe, Fendi, and Kenzo, and in 1987, he created LVMH as a holding company for his acquisitions.
Under Arnault's leadership, LVMH has become the largest luxury goods company in the world. The company has acquired many of the most iconic luxury brands in the world, such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Bulgari, and Moët & Chandon. Arnault has also expanded the company's presence in the fashion, jewelry, and watches markets. He has also been an active art collector, acquiring many important works by artists such as Picasso, Warhol, and Bacon.
Arnault is known for his business acumen and his ability to identify and acquire undervalued luxury brands. He has also been credited with turning around many of the brands that LVMH has acquired, such as Louis Vuitton and Dior. Arnault has also been praised for his ability to create synergies between the various brands that LVMH owns, such as using the distribution networks of one brand to benefit another.
Arnault has also been a vocal supporter of the French economy and has been a major contributor to many cultural and arts organizations in France. He has also been active in philanthropy, supporting organizations such as the Louis Vuitton Foundation, which supports contemporary art, and the Fondation Claude Pompidou, which supports modern art.
Despite his success in business, Arnault has also had his share of controversies and criticisms. He has been criticized for his management style, which has been described as autocratic and secretive. He has also been criticized for his high salary, which in 2018 was $6.24 billion, more than any other CEO in the world.
In conclusion, Bernard Arnault is a French business magnate, investor, and art collector who is the chairman and CEO of LVMH, the world's largest luxury goods company. Arnault is considered one of the most successful business leaders of our time and is known for his business acumen, his ability to identify and acquire undervalued luxury brands, and his ability to create synergies between the various brands that LVMH owns. He has also been a vocal supporter of the French economy and has been a major contributor to many cultural and arts organizations in France. Despite his success, Arnault has also faced criticism for his management style, secrecy and his high salary.