The always-entertaining list of the world’s richest people can’t escape Elon Musk’s mercurial movements, and on Monday Musk slid from second to third place behind Jeff Bezos and Bernard Arnault.
Bezos’ fortune is consistent – people keep ordering stuff — but Arnault’s rises and falls based largely on how well people like to treat themselves.
As the world approaches a post-pandemic era, people are trending toward the finer things such as expensive handbags and champagne.
And Arnault is the chief exec of the world’s biggest luxury goods group LVMH.
Musk, meanwhile, saw his billions shrink a bit in the wake of a car crash in Texas over the weekend that claimed the lives of two men traveling in a Tesla.
LVMH reported a big, big first quarter, bigger than the company’s pre-pandemic numbers. The biggest beneficiary, not surprisingly, is Arnault. He who owns 47.5% of LVMH, according to a Fortune.com story.
You’re probably familiar with Arnault’s key brands: Moët & Chandon and Hennessy, along with Louis Vuitton, Loewe, Christian Dior and Kenzo.
The French firm scored a massive victory last November when it succeeded in a $16 billion takeover bid of U.S. jeweler Tiffany & Co. — heard of it?
Arnault’s family net worth is $182 billion, ahead of Musk but $16 billion behind Bezos.
Arnault’s fortune was primarily rejuvenated by the return of Chinese consumers. Sales in Asia, excluding Japan, were up 86% in the first quarter compared with a year ago.
Forbes reported Musk’s net worth fell 3.8 percent by late afternoon Monday, pulling back $5.6 billion and landing Musk at $174.1 billion, according to its estimates.