Delphine Arnault, daughter of the world’s richest man, becomes CEO of Dior

The LVHM group is also restructuring the board of directors of Louis Vuitton, its other flagship brand

LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault with three of his five children: from left, Antoine, Delphine and Alexandre, in Paris in 2015.
LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault with three of his five children: from left, Antoine, Delphine and Alexandre, in Paris in 2015.AFP

Delphine Arnault, 47, daughter of the owner of the LVHM group and the world’s richest man, Bernard Arnault, will in February become CEO of Christian Dior Couture, the group’s second-largest fashion firm. In addition, in a double statement issued on Wednesday, the luxury giant also announced a reshuffle at Louis Vuitton, where Pietro Beccari, until now head of Christian Dior Couture, will replace Michael Burke at the helm of the French group’s largest unit.

In a corporate statement, Bernard Arnault highlighted the “tremendous job” done by Michael Burke as the head of Louis Vuitton, which he said has allowed the brand to extend its lead over competitors. The French tycoon also underscored his daughter’s role as number two in the firm. Her keen insights and incomparable experience will be decisive assets in driving the ongoing development of Christian Dior,” he said in a statement.

Arnault, 73, has been married twice and has five children who all work in the group: Antoine, 45, was appointed CEO and vice-chairman of the board of directors of the Christian Dior SE holding company in December last year and holds other managerial positions in different firms of the group, such as Fendi. Alexandre, 30, is the executive vice president of Tiffany, the luxury jeweler. Fréderic, 27, runs the Tag Heuer watch brand, and Jean, 24, is the director of marketing and watch development for Louis Vuitton.

The richest man in the world

Late last year, Bernard Arnault overtook Elon Musk as the world’s richest person. The empire that he runs includes some 70 fashion, beverage and cosmetic brands. His are Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Loewe, Sephora, Bulgari, Moët & Chandon and Tiffany, which bring in huge benefits to the family, with a fortune estimated at $188 billion (around €177 billion), according to Forbes magazine.

Since taking control in 1984 of the Boussac group (former owner of Dior, which was then on the verge of bankruptcy), Arnault has not stopped acquiring luxury brands, multiplying the value of the LVMH group by 15. In November 2017, the Frenchman’s name was linked to the so-called Paradise Papers, a global investigation into offshore investments.

The announcement of the appointments has been well received by investors. The shares of the group, which is the largest listed company in France, gained 1.19% early on Wednesday, and closed up 2.31%. The luxury giant’s share price has hit an all-time high.

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