January 20, 2020 - 10:59 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The planet’s new richest person is Bernard Arnault, the chief executive of luxury goods behemoth LVMH, who dethroned Amazon's Jeff Bezos after gaining $1.9 billion in net worth as LVMH stock edged up by 0.7%, Forbes reports.
The Frenchman is currently worth $117 billion, up from $102 billion when he graced the cover of Forbes less than four months ago. “If you compare us to Microsoft, [we are] small,” Arnault told Forbes. “It’s just the beginning.”
Bezos' net worth slid by $760 million to $115.6 billion as Amazon shares dipped 0.7%. The nine-figure drop may be a drop in the bucket for Bezos, but it was enough to knock him from first to second place on Forbes’ ranking of the world’s billionaires..
Arnault is $7 billion richer than Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates, who remains the third-wealthiest person in the world, behind Arnault and Bezos. Gates would be richer than both men had he not given $35.8 billion, and counting, to charity over his lifetime.
Arnault’s LVMH has hit the ground running in 2020. Its beauty incubator, Kendo, recently acquired the rest of Kat Von D’s eponymous beauty brand. And LVMH also bought a tennis-ball-size rough diamond—the second largest in history—from Lucara Diamond Corp. on January 15. The 1,758-carat gem is a timely splurge, since LVMH made a $16.2 billion bid to buy iconic jeweler Tiffany & Co. in November. Tiffany shareholders are due to vote on the deal on February 4, 2020.