Bernard Arnault is now the richest person in the world, based on the current stock price of Louis Vuitton.
Arnault, who has been chairman of Louis Vuitton since he acquired a 44% stake in the brand conglomerate in the late 1980’s, is worth $196 billion as of Thursday. That’s slightly more than Jeff Bezos’ net worth of about $186 billion, according to Forbes.
Combined with a family holdings company, Arnault now owns 47% of Louis Vuitton, which had a total market value of $416 billion as of Thursday. The company, which owns brands including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Bulgari, Tag Heuer, Sephora, and Hennessy, has seen its stock price soar more than 30% year-to-date.
Louis Vuitton has seen a resurgence since the COVID-19 pandemic, with many of its brands setting record sales and profits in the first half of 2021. The company saw second quarter revenue hit $17.4 billion, up 14% from pre-pandemic levels.
Amazon’s post-earnings slump of more than 7% last week helped catapult Arnault to the top spot, as Bezos saw his net worth decline by about $14 billion in a single day.
Rounding out third place for the world’s richest person is Elon Musk, whose 22.4% Tesla stake and SpaceX holdings makes him worth more than $160 billion.