Bernard Arnault, the chairman of the French luxury goods company LVMH, has overtaken Elon Musk to become the world’s wealthiest person, as per Forbes’ World’s Billionaires List 2023. Arnault’s net worth has increased by $50 billion to $211 billion, while Musk’s net worth has decreased by approximately $39 billion to $180 billion. Arnault and Musk have frequently swapped positions on Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires list. This marks the first time a French citizen has topped the World’s Billionaires ranking since it was established in 1987.
Forbes attributed Arnault’s record-breaking sales and profits, which propelled shares of LVMH to new heights, to his success. LVMH is the parent company of renowned brands like Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, and Tiffany. Arnault outshone every other billionaire on the planet last year, with an increase in wealth of $53 billion, thanks to an 18 percent rise in LVMH’s stock.
In contrast, Musk, who held the top spot last year, is now ranked second. Tesla’s shares fell by nearly 50 percent after the announcement of his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in April 2022. This, in part, was due to investor concerns about Musk taking on another CEO position and apprehensions about the $23 billion of Tesla stock he sold to fund the deal. Despite his private spaceflight company SpaceX achieving new valuation heights, Musk’s worth stands at $39 billion.
Forbes reports that Musk’s loss of wealth is second only to that of Jeff Bezos, the world’s third-richest person with a net worth of $114 billion. Due to a 38 percent decrease in the value of the e-commerce giant’s shares, he is $57 billion poorer today than he was in 2022. Larry Ellison, the co-founder of software giant Oracle, is ranked No. 4 with a net worth of $107 billion, while investment guru Warren Buffett is ranked No. 5 globally, with a net worth of $106 billion.