Further locking in family control over the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton luxury empire, Antoine Arnault has been appointed chief executive officer of holding company Christian Dior SE, which controls LVMH, and vice chairman of its board of directors.
Initiated last July, the conversion is designed to hand control of the entity to his five children: Delphine Arnault, Antoine Arnault, Alexandre Arnault, Frédéric Arnault and Jean Arnault.
All of them work for LVMH brands — including Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. and Tag Heuer — and are in line to eventually succeed their father as head of the group.
Last April, LVMH shareholders voted 81.6 percent in favor of a resolution to extend to 80 the age limit for its longtime chairman and CEO, Bernard Arnault, who is 73. Previously, the company’s bylaws fixed 75 as the age limit for serving as CEO.
At Christian Dior SE, Antoine Arnault takes over from Sidney Toledano, who decided to leave the executive management position. The changes were approved at a meeting of its nominations and compensation committee in Paris on Thursday night.
In a brief release issued Friday morning, Bernard Arnault, who is chairman of the board of directors of Christian Dior SE, said he joined the other board members to “warmly thank Sidney Toledano for the utmost professionalism he has always demonstrated while serving this mandate of trust.”
“I was really touched,” said Toledano, who continues in his role as chairman and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group, which includes Celine, Loewe, Givenchy, Kenzo, Pucci, Marc Jacobs, Patou and Moynat. “My mission continues at LVMH, working for the group and for the family.”
Toledano, who ran Christian Dior Couture, the fashion house, for 20 years, held the same title at the holding company Christian Dior SE for the same amount of time. “Mission accomplished, and I’m happy it’s Antoine; someone from the family. It makes sense,” Toledano said.
(Christian Dior Couture has been headed by chairman and CEO Pietro Beccari since 2017.)
Antoine Arnault takes on the new title in addition to his roles as CEO of Berluti, chairman of Loro Piana and head of communication, image and environment at LVMH.
“This choice was made in the context of the conversion of Agache SE into a limited joint-stock partnership, which occurred on [Dec. 6], and will permit the long-term family control over Christian Dior SE and LVMH Moët Hennessy — Louis Vuitton SE to be perpetuated,” Friday’s statement said.
Dior SE is a listed company that is highly symbolic for the family, as Christian Dior was one of the linchpin acquisitions by Bernard Arnault that initiated the construction of the world’s biggest luxury company.
Agache is the controlling shareholder of Christian Dior SE and LVMH SE. The Arnault family group cumulatively controls 48 percent of LVMH’s capital and 63.7 percent of its voting rights, according to stock market regulator AMF. Meanwhile, it holds 97.5 percent of the capital of Christian Dior SE, which controls LVMH, and 98.4 percent of voting rights.