Bernard Arnault (Image: Reuters)
French billionaire Bernard Arnault has become the world's richest person, surpassing Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
The Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) is also one the few "centibillionaires", or those who have a net worth of over $100 billion. He currently has a net worth of $198 billion, according to the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List.
Also read: 3 business success tips from the world’s richest person: Bernard Arnault of LVMH
LVMH manages a vast portfolio of 70 luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton, Sephora, Tiffany & Co, Stella McCartney, Gucci, Christian Dior, and Givenchy.
Arnault has been at the helm of LVMH since 1989, after becoming the majority shareholder of the company.
He began his career as an engineer at the Ferret-Savinel construction company, which was owned by his father Jean Léon Arnault. Bernard Arnault even headed the company from 1978 to 1984.
In 1984, he undertook the reorganization of the Financière Agache holding company.
According to Forbes, Arnault also spent $15 million from the family business to buy Christian Dior in 1985.
He has been married twice and have five children. He has two children - Delphine and Antoine - from his marriage with Anne Dewavrin. The couple eventually divorced, and Arnault married Canadian concert pianist Helene Mercier in 1991. Arnault and Mercier have three children - Alexandre, Frédéric, and Jean.
Four of Arnault's children work with various brands across the LVMH empire.
He has been awarded the honorary titles
of Grand Officier de la Légion d'Honneur and Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, according to the LVMH website.