François-Henri Pinault

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François-Henri Pinault
Portrait de François-Henri Pinault pris aux journée de la terre en 2011 à l'unesco paris.jpg
François-Henri Pinault in 2011
Born (1962-05-28) 28 May 1962 (age 54)
Rennes, France
Residence Paris, France
Nationality French
Alma mater HEC Paris
Occupation Chairman of Kering
Chairman of Kering Foundation
Chairman of Groupe Artémis
Years active 1985-present
Home town London, UK
Net worth US$ 19.5 billion (April 30, 2017)[1]
Board member of Kering
Kering Foundation
Groupe Artémis
Spouse(s) Salma Hayek (m. 2009)
Children François
Augustin James
Valentina Paloma
Parent(s) François Pinault (father)
Louise Gautier (mother)

François-Henri Pinault (French: [pino]; born (1962-05-28)28 May 1962) is a French businessman, the Chairman and CEO of Kering since March 2005 and the Chairman of Groupe Artémis since May 2003. Under his leadership, Kering divested the retail industry and became a top-tier international leader of the luxury industry.


Education, early career[edit]

François-Henri Pinault is the son of François Pinault, the founder of PPR that became Kering. François-Henri Pinault graduated from HEC School of Management (1985). During his studies, he cofounded the still existing CRM company Soft Computing with other fellow students, and did an internship at Hewlett-Packard in Paris as a database software developer. After graduating, he completed military service in the French Trade Bureau of the French Consulate in Los Angeles, and was in charge of studying fashion and new technology sectors.[2][3]

In 1987, François-Henri Pinault began his career at PPR (then called Pinault Distribution) where he was promoted manager of the buying department in 1988, head manager of France Bois Industries in 1989, and head manager of Pinault Distribution in 1990.[4]

In the 1990s, as Pinault Distribution became PPR, an international player in the retail sector, François-Henri Pinault became president of CFAO in 1993 and CEO of Fnac in 1997.[5]

Head of PPR[edit]

In May 2003, François-Henri Pinault became vice-president of PPR and president chairman of Artemis, the holding company that controls the assets of the Pinault family.[5] In March 2005, he became chairman and CEO of PPR.[4]

François-Henri Pinault turned PPR around and oriented it towards managing luxury brands. He sold PPR’s leading retail assets: Conforama, CFAO, Printemps, Fnac and La Redoute. PPR then merged with the Gucci group, its subsidiary since 1999. The brands Gucci, Yves Saint-Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Boucheron, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney were now under the direct supervision of PPR’s executives. The group expanded its portfolio of luxury brands with the acquisition of Swiss watchmaker Girard-Perregaux (2011), Italian tailor Brioni (2011), Chinese jeweler Qeelin (2012), Italian jeweler Pomellato (2013), British designer brand Christopher Kane (2013), American designer brand Tomas Maier, Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin (2014). Kering also developed a Sports & Lifestyle division with the acquisition of Puma (2007) and Volcom (2011).

PPR becomes Kering[edit]

In June 2013, François-Henri Pinault changed the group’s name from PPR to Kering. The new name is a reference to his Brittany’s roots, "Ker" meaning home in the region’s dialect, and Kering sounds like caring.[6][7]

As a leader, François-Henri Pinault sometimes makes smart yet bold decisions like naming Hedi Slimane head of creation at Yves Saint-Laurent in 2012 amid perfectly healthy benefits, and Demna Gvasalia as creative director of Balenciaga in 2015. He also named Alessandro Michele to succeed Frida Giannini as creative director of Gucci in 2015.[8]

Other tenures[edit]

Corporate activism[edit]

Through his company, François-Henri Pinault fights for sustainability and women’s rights.[7]


Through Kering, to lead the sustainability trend, François-Henri Pinault experiments and implements new eco-friendly solutions, with the goal to concept-proof a profitable sustainability-based model.[10]

François-Henri Pinault’s dedication to sustainability was passed on to him by Jochen Zeitz, former head of Puma and an eco-thinker. They developed together an EP&L (environmental profit and loss account) to measure the environmental costs of their activities that François-Henri Pinault later implemented throughout the whole group. For example, Kering buys fairmined gold, it has a lab in Milan that offers a wide range of sustainable fabric to its brands,[8] it bought its own python farms to ensure full compliance regarding animal treatment, and it launched a free mobile application for any given designer to calculate the environmental impact of his/her creations.[10]

François-Henri Pinault financed the 2009 documentary Home by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, which shows aerial shots of various places on Earth and discusses how humanity is threatening the ecological balance of the planet.[11] Kering also financed the documentary Ice and the Sky by Luc Jacquet that tells the story of a French glaciologist who documented global warming thanks to scientific expeditions in Antarctic.[12]

Women's rights[edit]

80% of the group’s clientele are women. Shocked by the state of abuse on women around the globe, François-Henri Pinault created in 2008 the Kering Foundation to defend and promote women’s rights, ignoring his advisers arguing that the cause was not “on-brand” for his luxury-driven activities.[13]

In 2015, Kering launched the Women in Motion program with the Cannes Film Festival to raise the gender issues of the film industry. The program consists of talks organized during the event and the Women in Motion Award.[12][14]


In 2013, Francois-Henri Pinault returned to China two bronze rat and rabbit heads stolen in 1860 from Beijing's Old Summer Palace by Anglo-French troops.[15]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur (2006)[16]
  • ADL (Anti-Defamation League) International Leadership Award (2015) for setting a standard in corporate responsibility and raise awareness about discrimination against women and other minorities.[17]
  • Vanity Fair Hall of Fame (2016)[13]

Personal life[edit]

François-Henri Pinault has two children from his first marriage to Dorothée Lepère, a son François and daughter Mathilde.

François-Henri Pinault has a child with supermodel Linda Evangelista, Augustin James Evangelista.[18][19]

In April 2006, he began dating the actress Salma Hayek. In March 2007, it was reported that Hayek was pregnant, and later that month the couple were engaged.[20] Their daughter Valentina Paloma was born on 21 September 2007.[21][22] In July 2008, their relationship ended,[23] however they reconciled soon after[24] and married on 14 February 2009 in Paris, in the Sixth Arrondissement town hall. Two months later, on 25 April 2009, they renewed their wedding vows in the presence of their family and friends in Venice.[25]


  1. ^ "Francois Pinault & family". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-04-30. 
  2. ^ "François-Henri Pinault (PPR) : le nouvel empire". (in French). 7 December 2000. Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  3. ^ a b Joe Einhorn (5 August 2012). "Meet Le Geek: Francois-Henri Pinault". Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "Biography". Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Peter Gumbel (2 September 2009). "The new king of luxury". Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  6. ^ "François-Henri Pinault's Luxury Group PPR Changes Name to Kering". Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Molly Fischer (2 April 2015). "Flyby". Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Katarina Kroslakova (1 July 2016). "What would make Kering's Francois-Henri Pinault step down as CEO?". Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  9. ^ "Biography". Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  10. ^ a b Kim Bhasin (22 December 2016). "The Future of Fashion Is Mushroom Leather". Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  11. ^ "Information about the movie - Home - Un film de Yann Arthus-Bertrand". Retrieved 2012-06-25. 
  12. ^ a b Ela Keslassy (1 May 2016). "Kering Topper Francois-Henri Pinault Puts Women-Focused Initiatives Front and Center". Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  13. ^ a b "Vanity Fair Nominates François-Henri Pinault to Its Hall of Fame". December 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  14. ^ Tatiana Siegel (5 December 2015). "Cannes Fashion Partner Francois-Henri Pinault on His Festival Strategy and Why the Red Carpet Matters". Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  15. ^ "CEO of French luxury group Kering returns artifacts to China as gift". 21 July 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  16. ^ "Décret du 14 avril 2006 portant promotion et nomination". Journal officiel de la République française (in French). 16 April 2006. Retrieved 13 April 2017. 
  17. ^ "Francois-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering, is Honored with ADL International Leadership Award". Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  18. ^ Laure Italiano (1 July 2011). "Salma Hayek's hubby fathered Linda Evangelista's son". Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  19. ^ "Salma Hayek's Husband, François-Henri Pinault, Is the Father of Linda Evangelista's Son". 23 September 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  20. ^ Norman, Pete (9 March 2007). "Salma Hayek: Engaged and Pregnant!". People. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  21. ^ "Salma Hayek Has a Baby Girl". People. 22 September 2007. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  22. ^ "Francois-Henri Pinault biography". Browse Biography. 2010-12-12. Retrieved 2012-05-05. 
  23. ^ Lopez, Molly (18 July 2008). "Salma Hayek's Engagement Called Off". People. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  24. ^ Oh, Eunice (6 February 2009). "Salma Hayek Sets No Time Limit on Motherhood". People. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  25. ^ Vicki Hyman/The Star-Ledger (2009-04-27). "Star-Ledger article on remarriage in Venice". Retrieved 2011-07-13. 

See also[edit]

Related pages[edit]

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