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61. François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive, Kering

François-Henri Pinault

Position last year: 61

Kering was one of this year’s casualties of the perfect storm in China, created by the devaluation of the yuan, a clamp down on gifting and a slowing economy, which all combined to hit luxury brands hard.

The brand house saw its profits drop 13% to €489m (£348m) in the first half of 2015. However, its flagship brand Gucci showed signs of recovery following a difficult 2014, enjoying a 4.6% rise in underlying second quarter sales. Other labels in Kering’s 22-brand roster, such as Bottega Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent, also did well, while Puma continued to grow in line with its relaunch plan.

François-Henri Pinault clearly has a strategy that is garnering positive attention, with Richemont chairman Johann Rupert having approached the business to join the Yoox Net-a-Porter platform in June (an offer it is yet to take up.) While the Frenchman parted ways with Balenciaga creative director Alexander Wang, in September, in the same month he welcomed Grita Loebsack as chief executive of Kering’s luxury, couture and leather goods emerging brands business.

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