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Decoding the Arnault Family LVMH Succession Saga: Can Pro-Crypto Sons Secure the Throne?

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Bernard Arnault, CEO of luxury super-conglomerate LVMH and the second-richest man on Earth, has a choice to make.

The Decision that Shapes the Future

According to a profile published Thursday by The New York Times, the 74-year-old corporate titan—who controls 75 top luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Dior, Dom Pérignon, TAG Heuer, and Tiffany & Co.—is currently evaluating which of his five children he might select to inherit his business empire.

The Impact on Emerging Technologies

The decision is a consequential one, which will likely shape the trajectory of the world’s most powerful luxury player for decades to come. The choice also stands to have a sizable impact on the centrality of emerging technologies—particularly, the blockchain—to the strategy and image of the dozens of leading luxury brands under LVMH’s thumb.

The Blockchain Advocates

  • Two of Arnault’s sons—Alexandre, 31, and Frédéric, 28—are credited with encouraging their father to embrace blockchain technology and NFTs.
  • They’ve convinced him to push related innovations through LVMH portfolio companies including Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, TAG, and Dior.

The Future of LVMH

If either Alexandre or Frédéric were to succeed their father and assume personal control of LVMH, blockchain and other cutting-edge technologies, including artificial intelligence, would all but certainly take on a more central role at LVMH-owned companies, which also include Bulgari, Givenchy, Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot, and Hennessy.

Multiple Heirs in the Running

Arnault’s other three children also work in leadership positions at LVMH companies and were groomed for those roles from a young age:

  • Delphine, 48, serves as chairwoman and CEO of Dior.
  • Antoine, 46, guides LVMH’s image while running fashion brands Berluti and Loro Piana.
  • Jean, 24, heads Louis Vuitton’s watch division.

The Evaluation Process

Arnault gathers his five progeny for lunch every month at the top floor of LVMH’s headquarters in Paris, for what the children understand to be an unspoken evaluation of their readiness to one day take the top job.

A Family Succession Plan

Arnault recently reshaped the corporate structure of LVMH to guarantee that each of his children has a 20% stake in the company, and that none could sell any shares for 30 years without unanimous board approval. This suggests that he is positioning a blood disciple to succeed him.

A Harmonious Family Dynamic

Arnault’s children insist that their rapport is decidedly amicable, despite the frequent comparisons made in recent years between them and the ill-fated Roys of the acclaimed HBO series “Succession”.

The Impact on Crypto and Culture

The decision of which Arnault heir, if any, ends up taking the reins at LVMH will certainly be a decision that impacts not only the fashion and luxury industries but also the mainstream adoption of crypto at culture’s highest level.

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