François-Henri Pinault Biography

François-Henri Pinault is a French entrepreneur and the Chairman and CEO of Kering. Let’s take a look at his family, personal life, career, achievements, and some fun facts.

François-Henri Pinault
Quick Facts

Birthday: May 28, 1962

Nationality: French

Famous: French Men Gemini Entrepreneurs

Age: 57 Years, 57 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Gemini

Also Known As: François, Henri

Born in: Rennes, France

Famous as: CEO of Kering


Spouse/Ex-: Salma Hayek (m. 2009), Dorothée Lepère (m. 1996–2004)

father: François Pinault

mother: Louise Gautier

children: Augustin James Evangelista, François Pinault, Mathilde Pinault, Valentina Paloma Pinault

More Facts

education: HEC Paris, Collège Stanislas de Paris

awards: Knight of the Legion of Honour

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François-Henri Pinault is a French entrepreneur and the Chairman and CEO of French luxury goods holding company ‘Kering’ (erstwhile PPR). He is also the owner and Chairman of French holding company ‘Groupe Artémis’. Scion of business tycoon and art collector François Pinault, who founded PPR, François-Henri got into business as a graduate student of HEC School of Management, even before joining PPR. He along with some fellow students of HEC co-founded CRM company, Soft Computing. Joining PPR in the late 1980s, he gradually went up the ladder over the years while playing an instrumental role in Kering’s divesture of the retail industry and making it one of the top-notch global players in the luxury goods industry. Kering owns several brands like ‘Yves Saint Laurent SAS’, ‘Alexander McQueen’, ‘Puma’, ‘Gucci’ and ‘Volcom’ among others that are spread over 120 countries. He served as CEO of ‘Fnac’ and President of ‘CFAO’ and is the Chairman and Board Member of ‘Kering Foundation’. He has four children including one daughter from his current wife, famous film actress, Salma Hayek.

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François-Henri Pinault
Childhood & Early Life
  • François-Henri Pinault was born on May 28, 1962, in Rennes, France, to businessman, François Pinault and Louise Gautier.
  • Not much has come to shore about the early life and schooling of this enterprising personality except that he attended the prestigious international business school HEC School of Management, located in Paris, France, from where he completed his graduation in 1985.
  • François-Henri embarked into the world of business by co-founding ‘Soft Computing’ along with other fellow students.
  • He remained an intern of the American international IT major, ‘Hewlett-Packard’ in Paris in the capacity of a database software developer.
  • He then finished his military service in the French Consulate Economic Expansion station in Los Angeles, US, in the French Trade Bureau. This stint saw him studying fashion and new technology sectors.
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  • He joined ‘Pinault-Printemps-Redoute’ (PPR) - at that time known as ‘Pinault Distribution’, in 1987. It was founded by his father, François Pinault, in 1963. In 1988, François-Henri was elevated as a Manager in the company’s buying department and in 1990 he became the Head Manager of the company.
  • Meanwhile he served France Bois Industries as Head Manager in 1989.
  • While ‘Pinault Distribution’ evolved as a global player in the retail industry in the 1990s (rechristened as Pinault-Printemps-Redoute - PPR), François-Henri was inducted as President of the multinational industrial products distribution company ‘Compagnie Française de l'Afrique Occidentale’ (CFAO) in 1993.
  • In 1997, he became the CEO of French retail chain company ‘Fnac’.
  • He led PPR to divest in retail industry concentrating more on managing luxury brands and eventually succeeded to evolve it into a leading player in the luxury goods industry.
  • In 1999, PPR acquired 42% of Gucci Group NV, marking its first such investment in the luxury sector. With time, more luxury brand acquisitions followed including Saint Laurent Paris, Alexander McQueen, Boucheron, Bottega Veneta, Stella McCartney, and Balenciaga.
  • He founded the Electronic Business Group in 2000.
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  • In the years to follow he became a prominent figure in PPR that saw his elevation as the Vice-President of the company in May 2003 and later its Chairman and CEO in March 2005.
  • Since May 2003, he also serves as President Chairman of the French holding company ‘Groupe Artémis’ that controls the Pinault family assets. The company owns French association football club Stade Rennais, SRFC; French magazine Le Point, British auction house Christie’s; the Théâtre Marigny theatre in Paris; and French wine estate Château Latour.
  • The leading retail assets of PPR were sold by him. These included the big French retail chain selling electronics and cultural products, ‘Fnac’; the high fashion department store ‘Printemps’; home furnishings retail chain ‘Conforama’; French mail order company ‘La Redoute’; and multinational company selling manufacture goods, ‘CFAO’.
  • He was bestowed with the Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur in 2006.
  • He has been an advocate for women’s right and in pursuit of defending and promoting women’s rights he launched the ‘Kering Foundation’ in 2008 that is financed by Kering. The main objectives of the foundation are to combat violence against women and promote women empowerment.
  • François-Henri strives for sustainability and delves on examining and implementing new eco-friendly solutions through ‘Kering’. He has developed an EP&L (environmental profit and loss account) along with ex-head of ‘Puma’, Jochen Zeitz. The model that was implemented by him across his company helps to measure environmental costs of different activities.
  • The June 2009 released documentary film ‘Home’ by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, which mostly comprises of aerial shots taken from different places on Earth, was financed by him. The film illustrates the way humanity poses a threat in maintaining the ecological balance of the Earth.
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  • The luxury brand portfolio of PPR took a larger shape when it went on to acquire varied brands of luxury products over the next few years including creating a Sports & Lifestyle division after acquiring Puma in 2007 and Volcom in 2011.
  • Other acquisitions included ‘Girard-Perregaux’, high-end Swiss watch manufacturer, and ‘Brioni’, Italian menswear tailor in 2011; ‘Qeelin’, Chinese fine jewelry brand in 2012; Italian jewelry company ‘Pomellato’ and British designer brand Christopher Kane in 2013; and luxury Swiss watch manufacturer ‘Ulysse Nardin’ in 2014.
  • PPR was rechristened as ‘Kering’ in June 2013 by François-Henri. He gave two bronze ancient art pieces, which were originally stolen by the Anglo-French troops from Old Summer Palace of Beijing in 1860, as gift to the Chinese state.
  • He is a member of the global non-profit organisation ‘The B Team; member of the board of ‘Christie’s’; and management board member of ‘Château Latour’.
  • The 2015 French documentary film ‘Ice and the Sky’ directed by Luc Jacquet that narrates the study of scientist Claude Lorius on Antarctic ice and his concern regarding global warming was also financed by François-Henri.
  • His efforts in the area of corporate responsibility, women rights and on creating awareness on minority discrimination earned him the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) International Leadership Award in 2015.
  • His name was inducted in the Vanity Fair Hall of Fame in 2016.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • He was married to Dorothée Lepère from 1996 to 2004. They together had two children - a son, Francois Pinault, born in 1998 and a daughter, Mathilde, born in 2001.
  • He started dating famous Mexican and American film actress and producer, Salma Hayek, in April 2006 and got engaged in March 2007 by which time Salma got pregnant with him. The two welcomed their daughter, Valentina Paloma, on September 21, 2007.
  • He tied the knot with Salma a couple of years later on February 14, 2009 in Sixth Arrondissement town hall in Paris.
  • François-Henri got entangled in a controversy that went viral when Canadian supermodel Linda Evangelista filed court papers against him in June 2011 for non-payment of child support. The papers revealed his name as the biological father of her son, Augustin James, born on October 11, 2006. The two later reached an out-of-court settlement on May 7, 2012.

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- François-Henri Pinault Biography
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Last Updated
- July 20, 2017

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