Francoise Bettencourt Hits $100.1bn Networth Joins Elite $100bn Club

Francoise Bettencourt Hits $100.1bn Networth Joins Elite $100bn Club
Francoise Bettencourt Hits $100.1bn Networth Joins Elite $100bn Club

The vice chair of the massive French cosmetics company L’Oréal, Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, has a $100.1 billion net worth, according to Forbes’ Real Time Billionaires list.

The elite $100 billion club, which has historically been predominately male, has accepted its first female member for the first time in its existence.

This accomplishment changes the gender dynamics of the ultra-wealthy and solidifies her status as the richest woman in the world.

Meet the First $100 Billion Woman

On May 15, 70-year-old Bettencourt Meyers’ net worth crossed the $100 billion threshold for a brief period of time before marginally declining.

But on Wednesday, L’Oréal Group shares increased by 0.8% to 455.6 Euros, bringing her net worth back to $100.1 billion.

Her husband, two kids, and she jointly own L’Oréal, which accounts for around 35% of her income. Despite her enormous wealth, Bettencourt Meyers has served on the board of the corporation since 1997 while keeping a quiet profile.

Citing the digital news platform, her financial rise has been largely attributed to L’Oréal’s performance. After exceeding first-quarter sales forecasts, the company’s shares shot up in April, bringing Bettencourt Meyers closer to the centibillionaire mark. L’Oréal recorded $44 billion (41 billion euros) in revenue in 2023 from its wide range of brands, which includes Lancôme, Kiehl’s, and Maybelline.

L’Oréal’s expansion has also been greatly aided by strategic acquisitions. For example, the $2.5 billion purchase of Australian beauty brand Aesop improved the company’s luxury beauty division.

What You Should Know

After her mother Liliane Bettencourt passed away in 2017, the heiress—who is the granddaughter of L’Oréal founder Eugène Schueller—first showed up on Forbes’ list of the richest people in the world in 2018.

Leading shareholder and socialite Liliane cleared the path for Francoise Bettencourt Meyers to go up the financial ladder after her death. Her net worth has increased by around $58 billion since she first appeared on the Forbes list.

Jean-Victor and Nicolas Meyers, her sons, are also employed by the family business and are board members of L’Oréal. Bettencourt Meyers becomes a member of an exclusive group of 16 centibillionaires, whose combined fortune exceeds $2.2 trillion, or 15% of all 2,781 billionaires worldwide.

Nine new centibillionaires have joined the group this year alone, demonstrating the rise in global wealth.

Bettencourt Meyers is an exception among the centibillionaires, a group dominated by tech titans such as Sergey Brin and Mark Zuckerberg.

Amancio Ortega, the creator of the Zara brand, and Bernard Arnault, the CEO of LVMH, are two more prominent figures in the consumer products industry.

Bill Gates was the first to break the $100 billion mark, which was previously thought to be unachievable, in 1999, only to see his net worth drastically decline long after.

Jeff Bezos was the first to rejoin the group of billionaires in 2017, and in the years that followed, so were Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Bernard Arnault.