Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, has lost his spot has the world’s second-richest person after a successful year from French billionaire Bernard Arnault. Arnault is the CEO of the multinational luxury goods conglomerate LVMH whose subsidiaries include Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Sephora, Fendi and more. After a boost of $39 billion from last years earnings, Arnault’s net worth now sits at $108 billion, notching ahead of Gates’ $107 billion. LVMH reached double-digit growth in both sales and profits in 2018. The company also announced Rihanna would be the first woman to launch an original brand at LVMH.
Lintao Zhang/Getty ImagesYou may remember Arnault from his €200 million ($224 million) donation to the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The Cathedral suffered structural damage after a fire and Arnault was particularly saddened by the news. Arnault, along with the billionaires behind Kering and L'Oreal were able to pledge €500 million ($565 million) in total.
In all fairness, Bloomberg has reported that Gates’ $35 billion in donations to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the cause for his fall. Gates had been ranked as the second-richest person in the world for seven straight years prior to today. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos still holds the title of the richest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $125 billion.