After a good year by French billionaire Bernard Arnault, Bill Gates, Microsoft’s founder, has lost his place to the second richest individual in the world. Arnault is the CEO of the LVMH conglomerate of multinational luxury goods, whose subsidiaries include Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Sephora, Fendi and more. Arnault’s net worth now stands at $108 billion, ahead of Gates’ $107 billion, after a $39 billion increase from last year’s income. In 2018, LVMH achieved double-digit revenues and profit development. The firm also announced that Rihanna would launch an initial brand at LVMH as the first female.
You may remember Arnault from his donation to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris of € 200 million ($224 million). After a fire, the Cathedral experienced structural harm and the news especially saddened Arnault. Arnault was able to pledge a total of € 500 million ($565 million) together with the billionaires behind Kering and L’Oreal.
Bloomberg has revealed in all fairness that Gates’ $35 billion in donations to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the cause of his downturn. For seven consecutive years before today, Gates had been ranked the world’s second richest individual. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos still maintains an estimated net worth of $125 billion as the world’s wealthiest individual.