Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive officer of luxury goods firm Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) has knocked out tech mogul Elon Musk as the world’s wealthiest person in this year’s Forbes Real-time Billionaires List. Forbes officially posted the list on its website on Tuesday, December 13th.
As of Monday, December 12th, Arnault and his family, many of whom are part of the LVMH organization, had a net worth of $188.6 billion.
Indian infrastructure and commodities tycoon Gautam Adani took third place with a net worth of approximately $133.7 billion. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos rounded out the top four with a net worth of around $115.7 billion.
Who is Bernard Arnault?
While his name may not be familiar, the world knows the products – from fine luggage and award-winning wines to cosmetics and apparel – his company produces.
An engineer by profession, Arnault dabbled in real estate in the early 1980s before returning to France in 1984. He purchased the ailing textile firm Boussac Saint-Freres which, at the time, owned the style maison Christian Dior. He retained the maison, then sold off the firm’s other businesses, eventually using the proceeds to buy a controlling stake in LVMH.
He has since grown the business to include cosmetics purveyor Sephora, along with at least 70 other beauty and fashion businesses. Today, Arnault’s LVMH has a global presence of nearly 5,500 retail hubs worldwide.
But What About Musk?
As for the beleaguered Chief Twit, Musk lost a staggering $7.4 billion – essentially 4% of his total net worth at the time – on Monday. This puts his fortune in the area of $181.3 billion.
The tech mogul’s wealth comes mostly from Tesla shares, the value of which dropped by 6.3% as trading drew to a close on Monday. Given how Musk’s net worth at the beginning of the week was pegged at $304.2 billion, he has lost an amount that is considerably higher than Jeff Bezos’ personal net worth.
A Rough Time, Indeed
At present, the value of Tesla shares since the beginning of this year plunged by around 60%. On Tuesday, these shares were traded at 30 times their projected earnings. This is the lowest they’ve dipped and analysts predict that Tesla’s share value could drop even lower in the coming weeks.
Market watchers say that investors have been having second thoughts about investing in the electric vehicle company given the recent fallout surrounding Musk’s $44 billion acquisition of Twitter.