Focus on World Family Business Leaders | Francoise Bettencourt Meyers
This week the Family Business Office, for its 32nd edition of Focus On , features the current richest woman in the world and third generation heiress of the world renowned family business L’Oreal.
Françoise Bettencourt Meyers was born on 10th July 1953, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. She is the only daughter of the multi-billionaire businesswoman Liliane Bettencourt and French politician André Bettencourt. Françoise is also the granddaughter of L’Oreal founder Eugène Schueller, who formulated a hair dye solution in 1907 that he called Oréal, sold to Parisian hairdressers and later registered as a company L’Oreal.
Francoise, being the only daughter of Liliane Bettencourt , the multi-billionaire majority shareholder of the world’s biggest cosmetic company L’Oréal and after the death of her mother on 21 September 2017, Bettencourt Meyers became the heiress to her mother’s estate. At the time of her death, Liliane Bettencourt had a net worth of US$44.3 billion and was the 14th richest person in the world. Upon her inheritance of her mother’s fortunes, Bettencourt Meyers became the richest woman alive on earth as well as one of the 20 richest persons in the world.
Francoise also serves as the president of her family business foundation, Bettencourt Schueller Foundation, which has over USD 700 million in assets. Even though she is better known as the heiress of the world’s largest cosmetic company, Bettencourt Meyers also has an active academic career. A prominent author, she has written books on Jewish- Christian relations as well as on Greek mythology
Not all was rosy with the Bettencourt Meyers family as Francoise married Jean-Pierre Meyers, the grandson of a rabbi murdered at Auschwitz, and her marriage caused controversy because of her grandfather Eugène Schueller‘s trial for collaboration with the Nazi government; he was L’Oreal’s founder. Bettencourt Meyers and her family still own a 33% stake in the company.
Yet more controversy arose when in 2008, Francois sued François-Marie Banier for taking money from her mother, and she started proceedings to have her mother declared mentally incompetent.
In December 2010, Bettencourt Meyers announced that she had settled out of court with both her mother and Banier.
Francois also put her wealth to good use when in recent times and subsequent a fire severely damaging Notre-Dame de Paris, Bettencourt Meyers and L’Oréal pledged $226 million to repair the cathedral.
( All factual and statistical information presented in this blog has been obtained from an extract of articles found on www.famouspeople.com and Wikipedia biographies.com ) Follow us on our Facebook page and Family Business Office website at www.familybusiness.org.mt
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