Bernard Arnault Surpasses Elon Musk as World’s Wealthiest Individual

The international economic panorama has undergone a major change, with Elon Musk being replaced as the richest person in the world. Bernard Arnault, the billionaire chairman and CEO of global luxury goods company LVMH, now holds this prestigious title.

Arnault’s Ascension

(FILES) X (formerly Twitter) CEO Elon Musk attends a conversation event with Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London on November 2, 2023. Elon Musk's X has shed more than 1,000 staff globally from teams responsible for stopping abusive content online, according to new figures released on January 11, 2024 by Australia's online watchdog. Australia's eSafety Commission said these "deep cuts" and the reinstatement of thousands of banned accounts had created a "perfect storm" for the spread of harmful content. (Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth / POOL / AFP)
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According to Forbes magazine, Arnault and his family’s wealth skyrocketed to $207.8 billion following a remarkable surge of $23.6 billion on Friday. This astounding growth has placed Arnault ahead of Musk, whose fortune is estimated at $204.5 billion.

Billionaires’ Ranking

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Trailing behind these top two billionaires are Amazon’s Jeff Bezos with $186.6 billion, followed by Oracle’s Larry Ellison at $142.4 billion.

Others on the list include Mark Zuckerberg at $139.1 billion, Warren Buffett at $127.2 billion, Larry Page at $127.1 billion, Bill Gates at $122.9 billion, Sergey Brin at $121.7 billion, and Steve Ballmer at $118.8 billion.

Tesla Stock Tumbles

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Tesla, led by Musk, faced a challenging day on the stock market on Thursday with a 13% drop. This drop resulted in Musk’s net worth decreasing by over $18 billion.

Rise in LVMH Shares

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In contrast, LVMH shares witnessed a 13% surge, pushing the company’s market capitalization to $388.8 billion, while Tesla’s market capitalization stood at $586.14 billion.

Decades-Long Luxury Empire

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Arnault, 74, has meticulously crafted his wealth over nearly four decades, establishing an expansive empire in the realm of luxury goods. This empire comprises renowned brands in fashion, jewelry, and the alcohol industry, including Louis Vuitton, TAG Heuer, and Dom Perignon.

Strategic Acquisitions

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A significant factor in Arnault’s financial success was the acquisition of Tiffany & Co. by LVMH in 2021, valued at nearly $16 billion. Arnault’s broader influence is evident with his venture capital firm Aglaé Ventures investing in companies like Netflix and TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance.

Family Control

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Arnault’s unwavering dedication to preserving the family legacy and maintaining control has come to the forefront through his recent strategic maneuvers. In a determined effort to ensure enduring family authority, he has appointed two of his sons to the LVMH board. 

Solidifies Authority

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This strategic move further strengthens the Arnault family’s grip on the luxury goods empire, complementing the already-established presence of two other family members within the boardroom.

Musk & Twitter

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Musk, originally from South Africa, has become a household name through ventures such as the acquisition of the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, for $44 billion in 2022. 

From Software to Diverse Ventures

Elon Musk
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His entrepreneurial journey started in software companies like Paypal and Zip2 before branching out into a diverse range of business ventures.

Tesla’s Journey

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Tesla stands out as one of Musk’s most renowned enterprises. While he is no longer the company’s head, he has wielded great influence over its operations since 2008. The automaker specializes in the large-scale production of electric vehicles, earning commendation in an era where global efforts to reduce emissions are crucial.

$1 Trillion Market Value

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Currently, Tesla reigns as the world’s most valuable automotive company, boasting a market value exceeding $1 trillion. 

SpaceX’s Ambitions

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SpaceX, another company founded by Musk, aims to revolutionize space travel and colonization. The company has achieved several milestones, including the first reuse of a crewed space capsule and sending humans into orbit.

Accessible Space Exploration

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SpaceX has gained worldwide attention for its innovative approach to space travel and its commitment to making space exploration more accessible and affordable.

Innovations in Neuroscience

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Neuralink, co-founded by Musk, focuses on integrating artificial intelligence with the human brain. The company is gearing up for clinical trials and intends to aid individuals with paralysis.

Infrastructure Innovations

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The Boring Company, another Musk venture, explores infrastructure solutions like the Hyperloop, which essentially entails the creation of underground tunnels for automobiles.

However, this concept has faced criticism over its feasibility compared to traditional public transport systems.

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