François Pinault is a French businessman and founder of the luxury group Kering and the investment company Artémis. Kering owns the luxury brands Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, and Yves Saint Laurent. As of December 2021, Pinault’s net worth is estimated to be around US$53.9 billion. He is the 26th richest person in the world. In the early 1960s, Pinault started his business in the timber industry and later on shifted towards luxury and fashion. While growing up, upper-class children teased Pinault because of his rural accent and his peasant family. Today, he is one of the most powerful men in the fashion industry. Here’s his success story.
Early life and struggles
François Pinault was born on 21 August 1936 in Les Champs-Géraux. It is a commune in the west of France. His father was a timber trader. Pinault grew up in the rural French countryside and began his career by working for his family’s timber business. At the age of 16, he dropped out of school from the College Saint-Martin in Rennes because the upper-class children bullied Pinault because of his rural accent and his peasant family. In the year 1956, he enlisted in the military during the Algerian war. Later, he returned back and sold the family business after his father’s death. Pinault’s strategy in taking over small businesses and turning them into mega brands has helped him establish the sprawling empire.
In 1963, François Pinault started his first business as a wood-trading company. He borrowed money from his family and took a bank loan. In no time, Pinault’s business grew bigger and his group bought many companies facing bankruptcy. Soon, his company focused on its investments in retail companies. In 1993, Pinault renamed his company to Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR). He bought major stakes in businesses such as furnishing retailing, departmental stores, books nd electronics retailing, and many more. By the end of the century, he shifted his group towards the luxury industry. In March 1999, Pinault-Printemps-Redoute purchased a 42% stake of Gucci for $3 billion. In addition, they also bought the Yves Saint Laurent company.
Pinault then purchased the French jewellery company Boucheron in 2000, Balenciaga in 2001, and the British fashion house Alexander McQueen. Pinault handed over the management of his companies to his son in May 2003. His son François-Henri Pinault, the current Chairman of Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR), followed his father’s footsteps and consolidated the luxury business with new brand acquisitions. Pinault-Printemps-Redoute (PPR) changed its name to Kering in 2013. In 2020, Kering’s revenue reached €13.1 billion. Apart from his businesses, Pinault is a major contemporary art collector. After the Notre Dame fire incident, the Pinault family pledged 100 million euros as a donation to the repairs. Today, his net worth is estimated to be around US$53.9 billion.
Lessons we can learn
During his childhood, people teased Pinault’s rural accent and his family background. Today, he is one of the richest men in the world with a net worth of US$53.9 billion. From the very beginning, Pinault worked hard and put his business skills to proper use. With his business tactics and passion, François Pinault set up an empire all by himself. Firstly, hard work is the key to success. It teaches us discipline, dedication and determination. Secondly, we should always believe in ourselves and never give up.
What is François Pinault's net worth?
Who is the current Chairman of Kering?
François Pinault’s son, François-Henri Pinault.