L'Oreal's Liliane Bettencourt Dies at 94

Liliane Bettencourt/Photo courtesy of L'Oreal Group (L'Oreal Group)

Liliane Bettencourt, heiress to the L’Oréal cosmetics fortune, has died at age 94. According to her family, she passed away peacefully in her home in the Parisian suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine.

“The passing of Mrs Liliane Bettencourt is a moment of great emotion and immense sadness for all of us at L’Oréal,” says Jean-Paul Agon, chairman and CEO of L’Oréal. “Mrs Liliane Bettencourt always had the taste for entrepreneurship, a natural curiosity, and a boldness for new ideas. For decades, she has conveyed the spirit of the founder of L’Oréal, the spirit of her father, Eugène Schueller. The quest for excellence and the highest standards, and the deepest respect for the men and women of the House.”

Bettencourt’s father, Eugène Schueller, founded a hair dye company in 1909, which eventually turned into the L’Oréal Group. Today, it is the largest cosmetic’s company in the world.

Bettencourt left the company’s board in 2012 and has lived a life out of the public eye ever since. With an estimated 2017 net worth of $40 billion, she was the world's richest woman. Bettencourt’s assets, including her stake in the cosmetics company, have been placed in a trust controlled by her daughter. Her grandson, Jean-Victor Meyers, succeeded Bettencourt on L’Oreal’s board as vice chairman, and was named guard to her personal affairs.

“With her advice and kind attentiveness, she always encouraged us to dare, to take risks, to go ever further,” Agon added. “To fully realize our ambition to turn L'Oréal into a global champion. She was with us on every step of this wonderful adventure. For all of this, we are immensely grateful.”

A complete statement has been released on the L’Oreal official website.