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Battle of the billionaires: Arnault loses out to Bezos for world's richest man title

LVMH luxury group CEO Bernard Arnault speaks during an event at the Vivatech show in Paris, Thursday, June 15, 2023.
LVMH luxury group CEO Bernard Arnault speaks during an event at the Vivatech show in Paris, Thursday, June 15, 2023. Copyright Michel Euler/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Michel Euler/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Vincent Vitis
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Bernard Arnault, head of luxury group LVMH, has lost his position as a result of the reorganisation of his company and subsequent stock market concerns, according to latest figures from Bloomberg.

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Amazon boss, Jeff Bezos, has overtaken Bernard Arnault, the head of LVMH as the world's richest man , according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world's richest people.

However, Bernard Arnault, with his estimated fortune of $203 billion (€187.6 billion), is not trailing too far behind the American founder and major shareholder of Amazon, who has a fortune of $205 billion (€190.4 billion).

Battle for top spot continues apace

Elon Musk, the boss of Tesla, SpaceX and X (formerly Twitter), was beaten into the top slot in March by Bezos, after losses of more than $30 billion (€27.7 billion), because of the fall in Tesla's share price, which lost almost 25% in one year. At the same time, Bernard Arnault's fortune jumped by $30 billion (€28 billion) thanks to Bloomberg's new methods of estimating wealth.

However, the new process, designed to boost the price of LVMH shares held by the chief executive officer, did not stand up to the stock market problems of the luxury group, owner of Dior, Givenchy, and Guerlain and many other top end brands.

LVMH has lost 3.68% in share value over the past week.

The group has been in a downward spiral for several weeks as it is hit by controversy over Arnault's decision to appoint some of his children onto the board. On Wednesday, the French billionaire's assets fell by $6.7 billion (€6.7 billion) to $203 billion (€188 billion).

Since the start of the year, Bernard Arnault's fortune has shrunk by almost $4.4 billion (€4 billion), while that of Jeff Bezos has risen by nearly $28 billion (€26 billion). The Frenchman outstripped Elon Musk by $202 billion (€187 billion) despite the latter's problems.

Rich, but not quite that rich

In the rest of the ranking, the contenders are a long way behind, with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in 4th place with an estimated fortune of $169 billion (€156 billion), Google co-founder Larry Page in 5th place with $156 billion (€144 billion), and Bill Gates in sixth place with $152 billion (€141 billion). 

The first woman in the ranking is Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, heiress to the L'Oreal group, in 16th place, with a value of $96.8 billion (€89.5 billion). In December 2023, she became the first woman to pass the symbolic $100 billion (€92.4 billion) mark in wealth. 

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