François-Henri Pinault is the chairman and CEO of ‘Kering,’ a luxury goods holding company based in France (erstwhile PPR). He is also the owner and president of the ‘Groupe Artémis,’ a French holding firm. François-Henri Pinault began his career as a student at the ‘HEC School of Management,’ the son of business billionaire and art collector François Pinault, who created ‘PPR.’ He co-founded ‘Soft Computing,’ a CRM startup, with fellow ‘HEC’ students. He joined ‘PPR’ in 1987 and worked his way up the corporate ladder, playing a key part in the company’s divestiture of the retail industry and transformation into one of the top worldwide leaders in the luxury goods market. ‘PPR,’ which was rebranded ‘Kering’ in 2013, owns a number of brands like ‘Yves Saint Laurent SAS,’ ‘Alexander McQueen,’ ‘Puma,’ ‘Gucci,’ and ‘Volcom,’ among others, with a global reach of 120 countries. He is the chairman and board member of the ‘Kering Foundation,’ as well as the CEO of ‘Fnac’ and president of ‘CFAO.’ He has four children, including a daughter with his current wife, Salma Hayek, a well-known actress.
Childhood and Adolescence
François-Henri Pinault was born in Rennes, France, to François Pinault and Louise Gautier on May 28, 1962.
Except for the fact that he attended the prominent international business school ‘HEC School of Management,’ located in Paris, France, little is known about this entrepreneur’s early life and education.
He conducted an internship as a database-software developer at ‘Hewlett-Packard’ in Paris throughout his studies.
He was enlisted to complete his military duty in the ‘French Consulate’ in Los Angeles, USA, after graduating from the ‘HEC School of Management’ in 1985. He was in charge of exploring emerging technological industries and fashion.
Career of François-Henri Pinault
He joined ‘Pinault-Printemps-Redoute’ (PPR) in 1987, which was then known as ‘Pinault Distribution.’ His father, François Pinault, founded ‘PPR’ in 1963. In 1988, François-Henri was promoted to manager of the business’s purchasing department, and in 1990, he was promoted to company head manager.
Meanwhile, in 1989, he worked as the head manager of ‘France Bois Industries.’
François-Henri was named president of the worldwide industrial products distribution company ‘Compagnie Française de l’Afrique Occidentale’ (CFAO) in 1993, while ‘PPR’ grew as a global leader in the retail industry in the 1990s.
He became the CEO of the French retail group ‘Fnac’ in 1997.
He was instrumental in the divestiture of PPR’s retail business, allowing the company to focus on managing luxury brands. He eventually succeeded in transforming the business into a major player in the luxury goods market.
In 1999, ‘PPR’ purchased 42 percent of ‘Gucci Group NV,’ marking the company’s first luxury venture. ‘Saint Laurent Paris,’ ‘Alexander McQueen,’ ‘Boucheron,’ ‘Bottega Veneta,’ ‘Stella McCartney,’ and ‘Balenciaga’ were among the luxury brands acquired throughout time.
In the year 2000, he formed the ‘Electronic Business Group.’
In the years that followed, he rose through the ranks of ‘PPR,’ becoming to vice-president in May 2003 and then chairman and CEO in March 2005.
He has also been the president of the French holding firm ‘Groupe Artémis,’ which handles the Pinault family’s assets, since May 2003. ‘Stade Rennais F.C.,’ a French association football team, is owned by the corporation. ‘Le Point,’ a French magazine, ‘Christie’s’ auction house in the United Kingdom, ‘Theatre Marigny’ in Paris, and ‘Château Latour,’ a French wine estate.
He sold the majority of ‘PPR’s retail holdings. The French electronics and cultural products retailer ‘Fnac,’ the high fashion department store ‘Printemps,’ the home furnishings retailer ‘Conforama,’ the French mail-order company ‘La Redoute,’ and the popular global company ‘CFAO’ were among them.
In 2006, he was awarded the title of “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur.”
He is a strong supporter of women’s rights. In 2008, he established the ‘Kering Foundation,’ which is funded by ‘Kering,’ with the goal of defending and supporting women’s rights. The foundation’s major goal is to end violence against women and promote women’s empowerment.
Through ‘Kering,’ François-Henri pushes for sustainability and investigates and implements new eco-friendly solutions. He and Jochen Zeitz, the former head of ‘Puma,’ established an EP&L (environmental profit and loss account). The methodology, which he used in his organization, aids in calculating the environmental costs of various activities.
Yann Arthus-documentary Bertrand’s film ‘Home,’ which was released in June 2009 and consists primarily of aerial pictures taken from various locations on Earth, was financed by him. The film depicts humanity’s threat to the planet’s ecological equilibrium.
‘PPR’s’ premium brand portfolio grew as it acquired a variety of luxury product brands, including ‘Puma’ in 2007 and ‘Volcom’ in 2011. It developed a new subsidiary called ‘Sports & Lifestyle’ after acquiring ‘Puma.’
‘Girard-Perregaux,’ a high-end Swiss watchmaker,’ and ‘Brioni,’ an Italian menswear couture firm,’ were among the other brands and companies acquired. ‘Qeelin,’ a Hong Kong jewelry brand, ‘Pomellato,’ an Italian jewelry company, ‘Christopher Kane,’ a British designer brand, and premium Swiss watchmaker ‘Ulysse Nardin.’
François-Henri renamed ‘PPR’ to ‘Kering’ in June 2013. He presented the Chinese authorities with two bronze ancient art items that were stolen by Anglo-French troops from Beijing’s ‘Old Summer Palace’ in 1860.
He is a member of ‘The B Team,’ a global non-profit organization. He is also a member of the ‘Christie’s’ board of directors and the ‘Château Latour’ management board.
François-Henri also financed the 2015 French documentary film ‘Ice and the Sky.’ The film, directed by Luc Jacquet, tells the story of scientist Claude Lorius’ research of Antarctic ice and his fear about global warming.
In 2015, François-Henri received the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) ‘International Leadership Award’ for his efforts to promote business responsibility, women’s rights, and minority prejudice awareness.
In 2016, his name was added to the Vanity Fair Hall of Fame.
François-Henri Pinault declared in 2018 that he planned to outperform ‘Louis Vuitton’ over time. In the same year, he announced Kering’s departure from the sports and lifestyle sector in order to concentrate only on the luxury market.
Personal History and Legacy
From 1996 to 2004, he was married to Dorothée Lepère. Francois Pinault, a son, was born in 1998, and Mathilde, a girl, was born in 2001.
In April 2006, he began dating Salma Hayek, a well-known Mexican and American actress and producer. In March 2007, he proposed to her while Salma was pregnant with his child. Valentina Paloma, their daughter, was born on September 21, 2007.
He married Salma a few years later, on February 14, 2009, in the town hall of the Sixth Arrondissement in Paris.
When Canadian supermodel Linda Evangelista launched a complaint against him for non-payment of child support in June 2011, François-Henri became embroiled in controversy. Augustin James, her son, was born on October 11, 2006, and his name was cited in court filings as the biological father. On May 7, 2012, the two struck an out-of-court settlement.
Estimated Net Worth
François-Henri Pinault has a net worth of $42.3 Billion.