Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH Moet Hennessy — Louis Vuitton SE (OTC: LVMUY), has replaced Bill Gates as the world’s second-richest person on the Forbes’ list, real-time data on the website showed Tuesday.
The 70-year-old chairman of the luxury fashion brand is now worth $107 billion — above Bill Gates’s $106.9 billion, whose primary source of income remains Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), a company he co-founded in 1975.
Amazon.com Inc’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos has remained the world’s richest person with a net worth of $112.2 billion, a significant distance ahead of Arnault.
Arnault’s personal growth is driven by LVMH’s impressive performance so far this year. The company reported 16% growth in revenue in the first three quarters of 2019 earlier in October.
The French luxury brand is also in talks to acquire the New York-based legacy luxury brand Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF). If finalized, it would be the biggest deal ever signed by Arnault, according to Bloomberg.
Why It Matters
Arnault, a French citizen, is the only person outside of the U.S. to make it to the top five, where Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BRK-A)'s Warren Buffett and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB)'s Mark Zuckerberg are the other members.
Bill Gates stepped down as Microsoft chairman in 2014 and has mostly focused on nonprofit initiatives since then.
He runs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation alongside his wife Melinda.
The couple has donated more than $45 billion to the foundation as of April 2019, according to Vox.
Gates also promised to donate more than half of his wealth as part of the Giving Pledge, along with Buffett, in 2009.