World's richest man Bernard Arnault auditions his children over lunches to choose his successor: report
CEO and Chairman of Louis Vuitton (LVMH) Bernard Arnault, who carries the tag of the world's richest man is said to be meeting his five children once a month over lunch and taking their auditions to decide who is capable of running his luxury empire. The lunch is organised in the private dining room of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE's headquarters.
According to a report published by the Wall Street Journal, the luncheon goes on for 90 minutes and starts with the French billionaire reading the topics, which will be discussed during the meeting, from his iPad. During the private meeting, Arnault discusses the business strategies related to his luxury business empire with his children.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the 74-year-old billionaire then moves around the table and asks for advice on business strategies from his five adult children.
Arnault seeks the opinion of children on specific managers who have been appointed at the company or whether it is the right time for a shake-up at one of the many brands that LVMH owns, stated the report.
In this process, the children give auditions to Arnault so that he can choose who will be his successor eventually and take over the luxury empire. However, no indication has been given till now by the billionaire as to who is likely to be crowned next, as he sticks to his principle of choosing his successor on the basis of pure merit.
The Wall Street Journal's report stated that the monthly meetings are part of the decades-long plan that aims to train his children who will eventually run the company in the event of his death.
As per the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Arnault raced ahead of Tesla CEO Elon Musk last year to become the world's wealthiest person. On April 19, his accumulated wealth was $208 billion, according to the index.
Around half of the major luxury brand companies are owned by Arnault. In 1989, the billionaire acquired a controlling stake in LVMH. Numerous luxury brands that are part of the company's portfolio include Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Tiffany, Sephora, TAG Heuer and Dom Perignon champagne.
Arnault's children have already been appointed to important positions within the company. The eldest of his five children, Delphine, became the head of the empire's second-largest brand Christian Dior.
Her brother, Antoine, was given the responsibility of managing the holding firm which oversees the family fortune of Arnault and LVMH, according to the outlet.
Frederic Arnault holds the position of the CEO of TAG Heuer and Alexandre Arnault is working as an executive at Tiffany. Meanwhile, the youngest of the five children, Jean Arnault, has been handling marketing and product development for the watch department of Louis Vuitton.