Bernard Arnault appointed his daughter Delphine to run LVMH’s second-biggest brand, Dior, as the 73-year-old billionaire continues to elevate his children to key posts in his luxury empire.
The move comes after Antoine Arnault, the eldest son, was recently given a wider role within the business, replacing Sidney Toledano as chief executive officer and vice chairman of Christian Dior, the holding company through which the family controls LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
The world’s richest man has been giving his children greater responsibilities throughout the group in recent years, raising questions about succession, though there’s no indication he plans to step back anytime soon. Last year, LVMH lifted the age limit of its CEO, allowing the family patriarch to stay at the helm until he’s 80.
The promotion will give Delphine “more of a frontline exposure at Dior”, said Luca Solca, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein.
Delphine, 47 and the eldest of Arnault’s five children, has been executive vice president of Louis Vuitton for the past decade, in charge of supervising all the brand’s product-related activities. In her new role at Dior, she’ll work closely with Charles Delapalme, who now becomes managing director at the brand.
The younger sons from Bernard Arnault’s second marriage are also involved at LVMH. Alexandre has been in charge of products and communications at Tiffany for two years. Frederic runs Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer while Jean is working to develop the watch category at Louis Vuitton.
Arnault on Wednesday also promoted Dior CEO Pietro Beccari to run Louis Vuitton, the biggest brand inside LVMH, which is run by Michael Burke, a loyal lieutenant. Burke will keep reporting to Arnault and get new responsibilities, according to a statement Wednesday.
The reshuffle comes at a moment when Dior and Louis Vuitton are thriving. While LVMH doesn’t break down financial numbers by brand, the fashion and leather goods unit growth had been led by Dior in the third quarter. This unit also houses Louis Vuitton as well as Fendi, Celine and other fashion labels.
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