Alain Chevalier, one of the two founders of the world leader of luxury LVMH, has died at the age of 87, announced on Sunday the Elysée. This captain of industry has made a home of champagne, the bride to be the company Louis Vuitton, an international group turned to the top of the range.
Mr. Knight ” has put his intelligence and talent in the service of the policy and of the industry, contributing his vision and his determination to install the France to the first place in the luxury sector “, underlines in a press release the presidency of the Republic, who greets him as a ” visionary “.
The giant French luxury, today made up of 70 houses, which employ 150,000 people in the world, praised for its “memory” of a “huge industry” in a message to Agence France Presse.
Born on August 16, 1931 in Algiers, where his family is installed since 1880, this “pied-noir Algeria, remained to the end faithful to the memory of his native land” according to the Elysée, studied law and political science before joining the ENA (“promotion Vauban “), from which he graduated in 1959. Auditor at the Court of Auditors, he has held various positions in government departments (the algerian business, education, industry) before leaving the administration to launch in the private.
“We had the ‘Baraka'”
In 1970, he took over the general management of Moët and Chandon, the first French group of champagne, with one goal : to transform little by little this old house of Reims in a company of luxury products, with a global role. With its president, Robert de Vogue, “things moved very quickly, we had the ‘baraka'”, he said in 1974 in the daily Dawn. In 1987, to counter a possible TAKEOVER of the company, became Moët Hennessy, it merges it with another luxury giant, Louis Vuitton, then chaired by Henry Racamier, who died in 2003.
But this marriage sounds at the end of a career for a pure manager. In fact, Alain Chevalier has never owned any of the action, whether it is Moët or later in LVMH. Absent from the capital of LVMH, he did not succeed to stop the advance of Bernard Arnault, who gradually acquires the entire company, thus becoming the main shareholder.
From 1979 to 1981, he served on the CNPF, the ancestor of Medef, but refuses to take the head of the French employers, just as he said no in 1986 to the position of minister of industry proposed by Jacques Chirac, his classmate at the ENA. In his book on the date of Saturday, le Figaro states that the death took place on 1 November at his home in Megève (Haute-Savoie). Her funeral mass will be celebrated Wednesday afternoon at the basilica of Sainte-Clotilde in Paris, says the family.