LVMH’s Bernard Arnault dethrones Bill Gates as second richest person in the world

Bill Gates’ seven-year run as the second richest person in the world on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index has come to an end.

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Bernard Arnault dethroned the Microsoft co-founder as the second richest person in the world on Tuesday after the LVMH Moet Hennessy - Louis Vuitton chairman’s net worth hit $108 billion, according to the Billionaires Index. Gates, whose net worth is estimated to be $107 billion, has remained in the top two positions on the index since it was created seven years ago.

Holding on to the top spot is Jeff Bezos with a net worth of $125 billion.

Bernard Arnault joined Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates as the only three people with a net worth of more than $100 billion. (Getty Images)

Forbes also listed Arnault as the second richest person in the world with a net worth of $105.1 billion as of Wednesday. Gates’ estimated net worth by Forbes stood at $103.7 billion.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
MSFTMICROSOFT CORP.212.65-0.37-0.17%
AMZNAMAZON.COM INC.3,104.25-23.22-0.74%

Arnault is relatively new to the exclusive “centibillionaires” club. He officially joined Bezos and Gates last month as the only people in the world worth more than $100 billion when LVMH hit a record 368.80 euros a share. The 70-year-old French native added $39 billion to his fortune in the last year, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index showed.

The LVMH chair is the richest person in Europe and his total worth is equivalent to more than 3 percent of France’s economy.

LVMH posted record sales and profits in 2018, and, in May, the French luxury giant made headlines when Rihanna announced the launch of her new fashion brand, Fenty, with LVMH. While he controls about 50 percent of LVMH, Arnault owns a 97 percent stake of the fashion house Christian Dior.

Gates would be the world’s richest person if you add in his charitable donations, Bloomberg reported. Gates and his wife Melinda donated more than $35 billion through their foundation.


Arnault also pledged $650 million in April to help reconstruct Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral after a fire ripped through the historic structure.