On May 24th, Bernard Arnault’s wealth soared past his predecessor.
Jeff Bezos has famously been the world’s richest man for some time, namely due to the global success of Amazon. However, on the morning of May 24th, his position was overtaken by French investor and businessman Bernard Arnault.
The owner of the conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH),
on May 24th Forbes estimated Arnault’s wealth to be worth $186.3 billion, eclipsing Bezos by $300 million. Bezos returned to the top position later that day as the market shifted, but the two have since alternated back-and-forth in the following week. At the time of this article’s creation, Arnault has returned to the top of the list. Despite an updated estimate of $191.1 billion, the continued stability of this position is impossible to predict.
Financial and market analysts attribute Arnault’s recent success, not dissimilar to Bezos’, to online retail dominance during COVID restriction periods. LVMH is well-known for its acquisition of luxury clothing and accessory brands such as Givenchy, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton, and Christian Dior. Its ownership of other prominent companies, including Sephora, Moët Hennessy, and Tiffany & Co., likely elevated LVMH’s success even further.
Although Elon Musk, of Space X and Tesla, briefly occupied Forbes’ top position earlier in 2021, he currently remains in third place, below Bezos and above Bill Gates with Microsoft. As it stands, it appears that Bezos and Arnault will both be vying for the elusive title of Richest Person in the World for quite some time.
By Adele Szaters