The Beez has been dethroned. Just weeks after he flaunted his wealth by firing a crew into space, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has lost his title of world’s richest man to luxury goods owner Bernard Arnault. The LVMH chief has had a monster few weeks, with shares in the luxury conglomerate skyrocketing, pushing his personal worth to an estimated USD$196 billion and firmly into first place on the Forbes rich list. Putting that into perspective, Bezos only has a measly USD$186 billion.
While Arnault’s net worth does come as a surprise, he’s been around the traps for a while. The French businessman has served as chairman of luxury house Louis Vuitton since the late 1980s, when he acquired a 44 per cent stake in the brand conglomerate. Add in the ownership of his family holdings company and in 2021, that stake has swelled to 47 per cent. When analysts announced on Thursday that LVMH, the company responsible for Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Bulgari, TAG Heuer, Sephora and Hennessy, had achieved a total market value of USD$416 bllion, the true extent of Arnault’s wealth was realised.
According to Forbes, the luxury business has had a bumper year, reporting a whopping 30 per cent surge in stock price year-to-date. It comes after Louis Vuitton noted a major resurgence in popularity and sales following last year’s pandemic-related challenges. In fact, a number of LVMH posted record sales and profit in the first half of 2021, with second-quarter revenue hitting USD$17.4 billion, up 14 per cent from pre-pandemic levels.
So, while Arnault’s wealth is skyrocketing, what about the real-life rocketman? Well, recent circumstances have hit Jeff Bezos and his Amazon business hard. A post-earnings slump saw Amazon shares fall by more than seven per cent in 24 hours, the company’s worst day since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. With much of Bezos’ wealth directly tied to Amazon’s share price, the fall greatly impacted the spaceman’s bottom line. Recent reports have suggested Jeff Bezos lost as much as USD$14 billion in one day.
But don’t feel too bad for the Beez. his net worth still sits at a comfortable USD$186 billion, and analysts expect that to grow in the immediate future.
“Amazon is still catching up with strong multi-year demand and 2021 is shaping up to be another big fulfilment build-out period on the heels of 50% square footage growth in 2020,” analysts at JPMorgan told Business Insider. “Slower growth and increased investments make the shares more challenging near-term, but we expect revenue growth to normalize more around 20% next year and Amazon’s investments in fulfilment and logistics bode well for future growth.”
With news of LVMH’s rise and Amazon’s slump, Bernard Arnault is now comfortably the world’s richest man with a net worth of USD$196 billion. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos sits in second, with USD$186 billion and rounding out the top three for the richest man in the world stakes is Elon Musk. The Tesla chief’s 22.4 per cent stake in the electric car company, along with his SpaceX holdings have provided him with a net worth in excess of USD$160 billion.
Who is the richest man in the world?
According to the latest figures, LVMH chief Beranrd Arnault is the richest man in the world, with a net worth of USD$196 billion.
What is Jeff Bezos net worth?
A post earnings slump for Amazon has seen founder Jeff Bezos' net worth slip to USD$186 billion. That makes him the second richest man in the world.