For the second year in a row on Forbes’ list of the World’s Billionaires, the planet’s richest woman is L’Oréal heiress Françoise Bettencourt Meyers of France.
Fourteenth richest person in the world
Worth an estimated $74.8 billion, Bettencourt Meyers is an estimated $1.2 billion richer than a year ago, making her the fourteenth richest person in the world.
The 68-year-old French citizen is the vice chair of the board of L’Oréal, the world’s largest cosmetics and beauty company, which her chemist grandfather Eugène Paul Louis Schueller founded in 1909. Bettencourt Meyers first landed on Forbes’ billionaires list in 2018, after her mother, Liliane Bettencourt–then the planet’s richest woman–died in 2017 at the age of 94.
In 2007, Bettencourt Meyers famously sued François-Marie Banier, a close friend of her mother’s, for allegedly siphoning more than $1 billion worth of gifts from the elderly woman. Banier was later sentenced to three years in jail and was ordered to reportedly pay back $16.5 million to Bettencourt and her family.
The cosmetics giant
Bettencourt Meyers and her family own about 33% of L’Oréal’s stock. She has been a member of the company’s board since 1997. Her two sons, Jean-Victor Meyers and Nicolas Meyers, also sit on the board. As the world’s largest beauty manufacturer, L’Oréal owns more than 35 cosmetic, skincare and personal-care brands. Its lead portfolio companies include Maybelline, Garnier and NYX.
L’Oréal’s group of companies generated more than $35 billion in revenue in 2021 and the company employs 85,000 people worldwide. Bettencourt Meyers is also president of her family’s philanthropic foundation, which champions France’s role in the advancement of the sciences and arts.
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