Succession: What does the future hold for LVMH?

Succession: What does the future hold for LVMH? - Artificial Jewellery

French luxury conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH) chairman Bernard Arnault has thrown water on speculation about the company’s future leadership.

By market capitalisation, LVMH is the world’s 18th largest company at $US413 billion ($AU624 billion), overseeing 75 brands – including Tiffany & Co.

LVMH enforces a mandatory retirement age of 80 for the chief executive and chairman position, and Arnault is 74. The compulsory age was previously 75; however, that was altered last year.

Arnault’s five children each hold important positions within the company. Arnault told The New York Times that his successor wouldn’t necessarily be a member of the family.

“The best person inside the family or outside the family should be one day my successor,” Arnault said.

“But it’s not something that I hope is a duel for the near future.”

Delphine is CEO of Christian Dior; Antoine is the head of communications for LVMH; Alexandre is executive vice president of product and communications at Tiffany & Co.; Frédéric is CEO of TAG Heuer; and Jean is the watch director for Louis Vuitton.

Speculation about the company’s future has been driven partly by the popularity of the award-winning Succession television series, which aired between 2018-23.

Created by Jesse Armstrong, the series details the inner workings of the fictional Roy family, the owners of a global media and entertainment conglomerate.

Arnault’s oldest son Antoine said that unfortunately for those who enjoyed the series, the dynamics of his family are less dramatic. 

“I know it’s disappointing for a lot of people, but we actually get on well,” he said.

Last year, Arnault changed the legal structure of his family holding company Agache Commandite SAS to ensure the family will continue to control LVMH long into the future.

Each of his five children has a 20 per cent stake in the holding company, and they can only sell their shares within 30 years with unanimous board approval.

Arnault’s second son, Alexandre, said: “There’s the risk that none of us is able to run the business as well as he has.”

“By the time they [Arnault’s grandchildren] reach ages where they can have responsibilities, my father will still probably be CEO of LVMH. He’ll be 110 years old.”

Earlier this year, LVMH announced a major sponsorship agreement with the 2024 Olympic Games, which will be hosted in Paris.

More reading
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LVMH joins Olympic Games as a major sponsor
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Rumours suggest LVMH mulling takeover of Richemont
Record-breaking revenue for LVMH


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