LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault Has Received France’s Highest Civilian Honor

Aside from regaining his title as the world’s richest person, Bernard Arnault has now received France’s highest honor for his outstanding merits.

On Wednesday, President Emmanuel Macron awarded the LVMH CEO with the Grand-Croix de la Legion d’Honneur at the Élysée Palace in Paris. VIPs such as Elon Musk and Jeff Koons attended for the ceremony, alongside Tiffany & Co. ambassadors Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Bloomberg reported. Arnault’s distinguished family members also turned up in support of the mogul, whose current net worth stands at $205 billion, making him the wealthiest individual in the world at the time of writing, according to the publication’s Billionaires Index.

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As France’s highest order of merit, the Grand-Croix de la Legion d’Honneur (which dates back to the Napoleonic era) can only be held by 75 people at the same time, which the palace confirmed to French media. The award doesn’t hold any financial benefit, according to the Grand Chancery’s website. Instead, it is deemed as a “source of pride” for recipients and an example of civic service made public.

Macron’s speech at the event focused on time, highlighting how Arnault has been able to “see and build far ahead” and “sell a form of eternal Frenchness,” Politico reported. The head of state also spoke of the Roubaix native’s commitment to the Notre-Dame’s restoration in wake of the fire that ravaged the cathedral in 2019.

Several top French political figures were at the ceremony as well, including former President Nicolas Sarkozy, EU commissioner Thierry Breton, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, French economy minister Bruno Le Maire, French interior minister Gérald Darmanin, and culture minister Rachida Dati.

Eminence of service that show recipients’ quality of actions, the common benefit of having served the nation, public awareness of merits, and length of service are all taken into account before the honor is awarded to French or international recipients. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is an example of the latter, whom Macron awarded last year. Arnault’s latest accolade comes 13 years after being promoted to grand officer by former President Francois Hollande and 28 years after being knighted.

The businessman’s LVMH conglomerate became Europe’s first $500 billion company last April. The company has also announced sustainability targets that include using 100 percent renewable energy at sites and stores by 2026 via the LIFE 360 program—not to mention the preservation of 12.4 million acres of habitat for flora and fauna worldwide by 2030. The impact of these accomplishments and incentives go beyond France, but they also speak to Arnault’s leadership and acts of service that met criteria to receive the Legion d’Honneur.

Looks like the LMVH CEO has plenty to celebrate.

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