PARIS: Antoine Arnault, the eldest son of LVMH chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault, has been named chief executive of family holding company Christian Dior SE, replacing veteran LVMH executive Sidney Toledano, and stirring speculation about broader succession at the group.

Christian Dior SE is a listed company that owns the bulk of the Arnault family’s stake in LVMH, the world’s largest luxury group.

The move raises the stature of Antoine Arnault, one of Bernard Arnault’s five children, all of whom hold senior positions in LVMH, the group behind fashion houses Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, as well as scores of other labels ranging from champagne to five-star hotels.

The most visible of the five, Antoine Arnault, 45, oversees the group’s communications and environmental issues, driving efforts to shore up its reputation.

Arnault, who is married to Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova, often takes to the stage for presentations of the group’s environmental efforts and hosts events such as public tours of workshops and factories.

For the past decade, he has been chief executive of high-end label Berluti, known for buffed leather shoes priced at more than $2,000, and bespoke tailoring for men as well chairman of Italian label Loro Piana.

A business school graduate, he has been a board member since 2006.

Arnault’s appointment follows a recent change in the legal structure of the family’s investment to ensure its long-term control of LVMH, with holding company Agache, which owns shares in Christian Dior SE, becoming a joint-stock partnership on Tuesday.

Bernard Arnault, 73, is chief executive and chairman of LVMH, and has not publicly named a successor to lead the sprawling luxury empire he built through acquisitions starting with Christian Dior.

The fashion label was folded into the LVMH group in 2017, and Christian Dior SE now holds 41% of LVMH, corresponding to 56% of the voting rights in the group.

Bernard Arnault, who often speaks at company events and last week attended a dinner at the White House with French President Emmanuel Macron, has shown no signs he plans to step down soon.


Comments are closed.