Let’s play a game! Who is today’s richest person in the world? With the winner constantly changing, it definitely feels like a highly competitive game. In the last two years (2020-2021) alone, the “richest person” status has changed three times. First, it was Jeff Bezos (2018-2020). Next, Elon Musk snagged the title (early 2021) before it fell back to Bezos. Now, out of nowhere, Bernard Arnault surpassed Bezos. These two billionaires are battling it out for supremacy, flipping back and forth. So, who is this new guy? And why isn’t he part of the Big Tech crowd?
Who is Bernard Arnault?
Some of you probably have never heard of Arnault because he isn’t famous like Bezos, Musk and the other high-tech billionaires. Arnault is a French billionaire and CEO of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH). He started his career as an engineer at Ferret-Savinel construction company, eventually making his way to apparel, beauty products and other luxury goods. LVMH has major holdings in many luxury brands, such as Dom Pérignon, Sephora, Givenchy, Christian Dior, Fendi, Bulgari and Tiffany and Co. And these are only a fraction of LVMH’s extensive portfolio.
Who would have thought apparel could make you that rich?
For much of the last three decades, the richest person title has been held by a person who is the CEO of a Big Tech company: Whether high-tech or telecom, they all had a form of technology associated with their brand. Before Bill Gates became the richest man in 1995, the title was held by Yoshiaki Tsutsumi, who was the chairman of Seibu Railway Group. So, Arnault is the first time since the mid-1990s that the richest man hasn’t been from the technology sector. LVMH essentially focuses on consumer products, making his accomplishment more impressive. You can only improve apparel and luxury goods so much, while technology is always changing and updating.
How long will this last?
How long will it last this time? A day, week or year? The wealth of these men is determined by their company shares, so it really comes down to if the stock goes up or down. LVMH has been rising recently, but who knows what the price will be in a day or two? Bezos is neck and neck with Arnault, and it’s only a matter of time until he overtakes him again.
Let us know what you think. How long do you think Bernard Arnault will last as the richest person in the world? Will Big Tech take the title again?