Bernard Arnault, who turned LVMH into the world’s largest luxury group of companies, may be 74, but he isn’t ready to step down yet. And though the French mogul’s family — with five adult children who meet with him for lunch every month to discuss business — has been the subject of endless speculation about whether they can avoid a “Succession”-like drama, he dismisses the comparison to the fictional Roys.
“It’s not an obligation, nor inevitable, that a kid is my successor,” he told the The New York Times. “The best person inside the family or outside the family should be one day my successor. But it’s not something that I hope is a duel for the near future.”
Arnault, who vies with Elon Musk for the ranking as the world’s richest person, grew up in an industrial area and saw local family dynasties fall apart — and is intent not to make the same mistakes.
“After one or two generations, it broke down because they had it too easy,” he told the Times. With his own children, he vowed to take a different approach. “I didn’t want them to start going to big parties. I made them work.”
But though they all occupy senior roles at LVMH companies, none of them expect their father to hand them — or even his grandchildren — the reins anytime soon.
Arnault’s daughter Alexandre said her father likes to take her own young daughter on his weekend rounds to visit his stores. She predicted: “By the time they reach ages where they can have responsibilities, my father will still probably be CEO of LVMH. He’ll be 110 years old.”