French 'Succession' intrigue deepens as source says Bernard Arnault plans to nominate 2 more millennial sons to LVMH board

Bernard Arnault plans to appoint two of his sons to the board of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, as the French billionaire continues to groom his children to potentially lead the luxury empire he founded.

Arnault’s nomination of sons Alexandre, 31, and Frederic, 29, could come as early as this week, a person familiar with the matter said, confirming a report from online publication La Lettre. LVMH is due to announce annual results on Thursday.

The board nominations would then be subject to a vote at the company’s annual general meeting in April. A spokesman for LVMH declined to comment.

The appointments would underscore the family’s firm grip on LVMH. Arnault and his family own about 48% of LVMH shares and nearly 64% of voting rights.

Arnault, 74, is the world’s third-wealthiest person, with a fortune of about $161 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He’s been grooming his children in a variety of roles at the company as he develops a succession plan.

All five of Arnault’s children work at the firm. Delphine, 48, is chief executive officer of Christian Dior Couture, the group’s second-biggest fashion label after Louis Vuitton. She’s the only Arnault child to currently sit on LVMH’s executive committee. 

Antoine Arnault, 46, is responsible for LVMH’s image and communications and is a non-executive chairman of cashmere specialist Loro Piana, which belongs to the company. He is also vice chairman and CEO of Christian Dior SE, the holding company through which the Arnault family controls LVMH. Both Delphine and Antoine became board members before the age of 30.

The billionaire founder’s three youngest sons came via his second marriage, to Canadian concert pianist Helene Mercier. Alexandre has overseen product and communications at Tiffany & Co. for the past three years while Frederic runs the group’s watch unit, which includes labels such as Hublot, Tag Heuer and Zenith. Jean, 25, is in charge of developing Louis Vuitton’s watch category.

In 2022, Arnault lifted the age limit for his CEO role to 80. LVMH last week announced that his close lieutenant Sidney Toledano, 72, will step down from the executive committee.

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