In a major reshuffle for LVMH (LVMHF), the luxury conglomerate behind brands like Louis Vuitton and Christian dior (CHDRY), Antoine Arnault will be leaving his position as CEO of shoemaker Berluti. Antoine is the eldest son of Bernard Arnault, the conglomerate’s leader and the world’s second wealthiest person.
Bernard Arnault, 74, last year raised the company’s leadership age limit from 75 to 80. While he has not announced plans to step down from LVMH, any hints of his succession plans have been closely monitored. His five children, who all currently hold executive roles at the conglomerate, have for years been integrating into the LVMH group with the expectation that one of them will take over.
Antoine’s departure from Berluti is an opportunity for the 46-year-old to take on an additional role in the family business. He will step down by January and be replaced by Jean-Marc Mansvelt, who has been CEO of jeweler Chaumet, another LVMH company, since 2014.
“I am very happy and quite emotional to welcome Jean-Marc as the new CEO of the exceptional Maison Berluti, building on values of elegance, audacity and unique savoir-faire,” said Antoine in a statement. He noted in an internal memo that “new adventures await me, to be announced shortly,” as reported by Vogue Business.
Succeeding Mansvelt at Chaumet will be Charles Leung, who has headed the jewelry brand FRED since 2018. A search is currently underway for a replacement for Leung, according to LVMH.
What is Antoine Arnault’s involvement in LVMH?
Stepping down from Berluti marks the end of an era for the luxury footwear company, which has been helmed by Antoine for more than a decade. “Under the leadership of Antoine, it has emerged from the pandemic with a great positioning and remarkable revenue and profit growth,” said Toni Belloni, group managing director of LVMH, in a statement. Shortly taking over, Arnault’s son oversaw a rise in annual revenue to $130 million from $45 million.
He has also been recognized for negotiating LVMH’s 150 million euro ($163 million) sponsorship deal with the Paris Olympics in 2024. Alongside participation from other LVMH companies, Berluti will dress the French team for the Opening Ceremonies of the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic games.
Antoine will stay on as chairman of Berluti while maintaining his concurrent positions as chairman of cashmere brand Loro Piana and head of image and environment for LVMH. Initially joining his father’s business in 2005 as head of marketing for Louis Vuitton, Antoine spearheaded the company’s successful “core values’ campaign, which saw cultural icons like Keith Richards and Muhammad Ali pose with handbags in photographs taken by Annie Leibovitz. In December 2022, he was announced as CEO and chair of Christian Dior SE, the holding company owning the majority of the Arnault stake in LVMH.
Despite his dominant role in the family business, Antoine isn’t the only Arnault child poised to become a CEO. Bernard Arnault, who has an estimated net worth of $193.2 billion, in December of 2022 appointed his daughter Delphine as CEO and chair of Christian Dior, the conglomerate’s second-largest brand. Meanwhile, his three youngest sons all hold roles in family-owned companies. Alexandre is the executive vice president of Tiffany & Co, while Frederic heads watchmaker TAG Heuer and Jean is director of marketing and development in Louis Vuitton’s watch department.