Gucci-owner Kering’s Gen Z heir claims his grandfather Francois Pinault’s seat on Christie’s board in major succession move

European luxury houses are legacy companies, often with family strongholds. Kering, the company behind Gucci and Saint Laurent, is no different. 

The luxury company was founded by Francois Pinault, current CEO François-Henri Pinault’s father, in the 1960s. 

Now, the Pinault family’s third generation is entering the family business. The 26-year-old Francois Louis Nicolas Pinault will replace his grandfather and Kering’s founder on the board of Christie’s, the London-based auctioneer. He works as a “product marketing manager,” according to a company filing reported by Bloomberg, and is the eldest of Francois-Henri’s children.

The move marks an important step forward for the third generation of Pinaults to carve their way into the family business. Francois Louis Nicolas will take on a prominent role at Christie’s at a time when the younger generation of dynasties like the Pinaults are watched closely, underscoring the role of succession across Europe’s wealthy families. 

Kering rival LVMH, owned by the world’s richest man Bernard Arnault, is a case in point as each of Arnault’s children now hold roles within the French conglomerate. 

Known for its art and antique auctions, the 250-plus-year-old Christie’s was bought by the Pinaults through their holding company Artémis in 1998. The group’s sales were $6.2 billion in 2023. 

The patriarch of the family, who passed on the CEO and chairman role to his son Francois-Henri in 2005, is an avid art connoisseur himself. He owns one of the world’s largest contemporary art collections, which form part of the Pinault Collection.

The French family’s investments stretch from its various top-end fashion brands to sportswear company Puma. The luxury slowdown has hurt Kering in the last few months. In March, the Gucci-owner issued a warning that its first-quarter sales would plunge by 10% this year compared to 2023 due to stalling demand for expensive goods amid high interest rates, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. 

The flagging sales are also concerning because Gucci is trying to galvanize itself back to life and make itself more appealing to luxury shoppers.  

In a move to diversify their investments, the Pinaults bought a majority stake in Hollywood talent agency CAA last year. 

The oldest Pinault’s net worth is estimated at $32 billion, making him the 48th richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Subscribe to the new Fortune CEO Weekly Europe newsletter to get corner office insights on the biggest business stories in Europe. Sign up for free.

Article Source

Leave a Comment

ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT ArT