In a recent development, Bernard Arnault, the esteemed chairman and CEO of LVMH, the renowned global luxury goods company, has ascended to the position of the world’s wealthiest individual, overtaking Elon Musk. This shift in rankings was precipitated by a substantial dip in Musk’s net worth, plunging by over $18 billion, primarily attributed to a significant downturn in Tesla’s stock value last week. Tesla, a trailblazer in the electric vehicle industry, witnessed a staggering $73 billion erosion in its market capitalization.
According to the real-time billionaire list curated by Forbes, Arnault and his family’s net worth witnessed a commendable surge, escalating by $23.6 billion and settling at an impressive $207.8 billion, thereby eclipsing Musk’s standing at $204.5 billion. LVMH, buoyed by this financial upswing, saw its shares surge by more than 13% in comparison to their previous closing figures on January 26. The market capitalization of LVMH now stands at an enviable $388.8 billion, albeit trailing behind Tesla’s substantial $586.14 billion market cap.
This financial reshuffling marks a noteworthy reversal of roles between the 74-year-old Arnault and Musk, who had previously clinched the top spot in December 2022. Last year, Elon Musk briefly held the title of the world’s richest person before Arnault reclaimed it in December. Notably, the two billionaires had a combined net worth of approximately $426 billion when they convened for a lunch meeting at Cheval Blanc, an opulent hotel chain owned by Arnault’s LVMH.
The slump in Tesla’s shares last Friday, which prompted the substantial market value loss, was triggered by the company’s cautionary statement about the deceleration in electric car sales growth and the escalating competitive threat posed by Chinese rivals. Tesla expressed that its sales growth for the year might be considerably lower than the previous year as the company dedicates efforts to the development of a “next-generation” vehicle, presumed to be a more affordable model.