If there is a French fashion magnate who is on the cusp of unparalleled success, it’s billionaire businessman François-Henri Pinault. The son of one of the wealthiest people in the world, François Pinault, François-Henri has diligently worked his way up to preside over the French luxury conglomerate that owns fashion houses Gucci, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta, as well as auction house Christie’s and French winery Chateau Latour. Read on to find how the husband of Hollywood actress Salma Hayek made his name and fortune.
A quick background check
Having graduated from the HEC School of Management in 1985, it took decades before Pinault took the reins from his father by becoming President of Groupe Artémis in 2003, and then chairman and CEO of Kering two years later. Add a couple more decades to that timeline and we’re now looking at Harvard Business Review’s third best-performing CEO in the world in 2019.
For a man with a CV like this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he now has an estimated net worth of US$7 billion, according to Forbes.
Salma Hayek, the red carpet, and their luxurious holidays
Despite being part of one of the most influential families in France, it wasn’t until his engagement to Hollywood actress Salma Hayek in 2007 that Pinault started to get noticed by those outside the fashion industry.
Since their marriage in 2009, the 59-year-old French billionaire has delighted in spoiling his wife, with whom he has a 14-year-old daughter. Pinault, who has three children outside his relationship with Hayek, seems to love nothing more than whisking Hayek away to all manner of picturesque places.
After the pair were married in Paris, they renewed their vows in Venice just a few months later and threw another party. Most notably, in 2018, Pinault surprised Hayek with yet another vow renewal disguised as a spa day on the tropical island of Bora Bora.
As the head of one of the world’s biggest fashion groups, Pinault also never disappoints on the red carpet as the Mexican-American actress’ date. The power couple can often be spotted wearing Gucci.
Pinault the philanthropist
Pinault isn’t just a trailblazer in the luxury goods industry: he most notably created and financed the Kering Foundation, which supports women impacted by violence. Pinault is chairman of a board of directors that aims to support survivor-centred services, implement prevention programmes with young people, and mobilise board members’ networks to combat violence against women.
“The Notre-Dame tragedy strikes all French people, as well as all those with spiritual values and those who care about history and culture.” François-Henri Pinault #notredamedeparis 1/2 pic.twitter.com/sy74CtPAtD
— Kering (@KeringGroup) April 16, 2019
In 2019, the Kering group also donated US$113 million toward the restoration of the fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
Europe’s richest sports team owner
What else does Pinault like to spend his precious time doing? Well, he is currently the fourth richest sports team owner in the world, and the richest in Europe according to Forbes, since he is president of Groupe Artémis, which owns French Ligue 1 mainstay Stade Rennais Football Club. Even Hayek has been spotted cheering beside Pinault during several matches in France.
Note: This story was originally published on SCMP and has been republished on this website.