Years at current company: 29
Industry: Luxury goods
Rate of growth: 13% in 2017
Bernard Arnault epitomises the French luxury goods industry. As far back as the end of the 1980s this engineering graduate – who now heads LVMH, owners of such world-renowned French brands as Christian Dior and Moët & Chandon – was making waves in the boardroom. Having acquired a 25% share in LVMH, he quickly became a key figure in the group, eventually becoming a majority shareholder and just last year landing at No. 4 on Forbes’ World’s Wealthiest Billionaires list.
After being elected chairman and CEO, he embarked on a hugely profitable acquisition strategy which has seen LVMH’s turnover progress by 500% over the last 11 years.
Notable success: By adding high-value additions such as Berluti, Kenzo and Guerlin to the LVMH stable, Bernard Arnault has forged an unrivalled luxury goods empire. His personal fortune is estimated at around 68 billion dollars.