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Bernard Arnault, world’s richest man auditions his children over lunches to choose his successor

Bernard Arnault, CEO and Chairman of Louis Vuitton (LVMH) and the world’s richest man, is reportedly holding monthly meetings with his five children over lunch to determine who among them is capable of taking over his luxury empire. The 90-minute luncheons are held in the private dining room of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE’s headquarters, during which Arnault discusses business strategies with his adult children. The luncheons are part of a decades-long plan to train his children to eventually run the company if he passes away.

During the meetings, Arnault reads the topics from his iPad, seeks advice on business strategies from his children, and discusses specific managers or brands owned by LVMH. The children are essentially giving auditions to their father, who chooses his successor based on merit.

The meetings also give Arnault an opportunity to assess the progress of his children, who already hold important positions within the company. For instance, Delphine, the eldest child, became the head of the Christian Dior brand, while Antoine oversees the family’s holding firm. Frederic is the CEO of TAG Heuer, Alexandre is an executive at Tiffany, and Jean handles marketing and product development for Louis Vuitton’s watch department.

Arnault’s fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, was $208 billion as of April 19, 2023. He owns around half of the major luxury brand companies, including Bulgari, Sephora, and Dom Perignon champagne. Arnault acquired a controlling stake in LVMH in 1989, and his strategy of meeting with his children monthly to discuss the family business is part of a long-term plan to ensure the continued success of his luxury empire.


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