Bernard Arnault, the richest person in the world, has put his daughter Delphine in charge of Christian Dior, the second-biggest brand in his LVMH luxury goods empire.
Arnault, 73, is the chief executive, chairman and controlling shareholder of the group, which owns a number of high-end companies including Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Givenchy, Kering and Moet Hennessy.
He announced on Wednesday that his eldest daughter would become Dior’s chief executive and chairman as part of a restructuring of the €382 billion (£337 billion) conglomerate.
Delphine Arnault, Louis Vuitton’s executive vice president responsible for product-related activities, will assume the new position on February 1.
The 47-year-old joined the family business in 2000 after two years at the management consultancy McKinsey and after studying at the London School of Economics. She joined the LVMH board in 2003, becoming the first woman and youngest person to serve on the board.
Her father said: “Under Delphine’s leadership, the appeal of Louis Vuitton’s products increased significantly, allowing the brand to regularly set new sales records. Her keen insights and unparalleled experience will be instrumental in driving Christian Dior’s continued development.”
The appointment marks a return to the brand that Arnault first worked for in 2001, where she began working on footwear before rising to deputy general manager, working directly with then-Dior creative director John Galliano.
She was credited with minimizing the consequences of Galliano’s racist and anti-Semitic rants on people in a Paris bar in 2011, which led to his being fired and convicted of racism and anti-Semitism.
Arnault said she wasn’t heavily exposed to the brands or the family’s extreme wealth as a child, but recalls being given a brown Louis Vuitton Noé bag (now retailing for £1,160) on her 18th birthday and at attended the first lavish party when she was 21.
“I remember the 1996 centenary very well. There was a big party and at the top of the room Naomi Campbell came on stage riding a giraffe,” she told the Financial Times in 2014.
Last month, Bernard Arnault appointed his son Antoine CEO and Chairman of Christian Dior SE, the holding company that controls 41% of the capital and 56% of the voting rights of the LVMH Group.
All five of his children now hold senior positions in the French company. They may have some time to wait before taking over the helm of the family business, as LVMH last year amended the company’s articles of association to allow a CEO to continue running the company until age 80, instead of 75 previously to be old
Bernard Arnault overtook Elon Musk last month to become the richest person in the world with an estimated fortune of $178 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.