Meet François-Henri Pinault, Salma Hayek’s Husband and Kering CEO

The younger Pinault attended HEC Paris, a prestigious business school, before joining the family business in 1987. By then, the elder Pinault had amassed a timber empire, mainly through acquisitions of smaller firms. François-Henri was named manager of the firm’s buying department one year after joining the company.

Francois-Henri Pinault and Francois Pinault look at each other and smile

François-Henri Pinault, left, and François Pinault in 1997.

Yves Forestier/Sygma via Getty Images

Source: Business of Fashion, Insider

Pinault spent much of the 1990s and early 2000s working at subsidiaries of the family business, then called PPR. But everything changed in 2003, when his father abruptly stepped down and placed him at the helm of Artémis, the holding company controlling PPR.

Francois-Henri Pinault leans toward Francois Pinault while standing outdoors

The Pinaults in 2004.

VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images

Source: T Magazine

“It was funny and dramatic and surreal,” Pinault told The New York Times’ T Magazine when describing taking over the company. “I knew it was coming, but I never expected it to happen so fast. I was still only 40 years old, and my father was 66 and in great shape, full of plans for PPR. But he had seen too many omnipotent fathers and what they did. I saw how hard this was for him.”

francois-henri pinault

François-Henri Pinault.

REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

Source: T Magazine

Despite those fashionable names, the company was ailing. Over the next decade or so, Pinault worked to reshape PPR into a luxury and sportswear conglomerate by jettisoning some of the unsexy branches of the business — wood trading and electrical distribution — and selling off its retail operations, including a department store brand and a mail-order business.

Francois-Henri Pinault sits next to Salma Hayek at fashion show while model walks in foreground

François-Henri Pinault attends a Stella McCartney fashion show in 2011.

Thibault Camus/AP

Source: The New York Times, Business of Fashion, T Magazine

In 2013, PPR solidified the gradual shift in its identity by changing its name to Kering. “Ker” was meant to reflect the company’s roots in France’s Brittany region (“Ker” means home in the Breton language), while “ing” was intended to conjure up movement, Pinault told The Wall Street Journal at the time.

francois-henri pinault

François-Henri Pinault.

REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Still, Pinault prefers to be hands-off when it comes to the products designed by Kering’s various fashion houses. “It’s not my job to say, ‘That handbag doesn’t work,'” he told T Magazine in 2013.

Kering CEO Francois-Henri Pinault holds up hands while smiling and speaking into microphone

François-Henri Pinault in 2011.

Francois Mori/AP

Source: T Magazine

That extends to the style preferences of his wife, the actress Salma Hayek, who is “very precise in what she likes and doesn’t like,” a company executive once told T Magazine. “But François has never called me up saying, ‘Salma told me …'”

Francois-Henri Pinault Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek, left, and François-Henri Pinault.


Source: T Magazine

Hayek and Pinault were set up on a date in 2006 by Mimma Viglezio, a former executive at Gucci. But before the date happened, even Hayek got confused by Pinault’s similarly named father. “She said, ‘What do you mean? I’m not going out with some 70-year-old guy. She thought she was supposed to go out with his father,” Viglezio told T Magazine.

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Salma Hayek, left, and François-Henri Pinault.

REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

Source: T Magazine

The couple welcomed their daughter, Valentina Paloma Pinault, in September 2007.

Francois-Henri Pinault stands with pregnant Salma Hayek at red carpet event

François-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek in June 2007, while she was pregnant with their daughter.


Source: People

Pinault and Hayek married on Valentine’s Day in 2009 in a courthouse ceremony that was a surprise even to Hayek. “I didn’t even know I was getting married that day,” she recently told Glamour. “They just took me to the court. My parents, my brother, they were all ganging up on me. I had a phobia of the marriage thing.”

Francois-Henri Pinault kisses Salma Hayek while they get into a car among crowd of people

François-Henri Pinault kisses Salma Hayek following a fashion show in 2009.

Francois Mori/AP

Source: Glamour

Hayek told Glamour that it was only after the ceremony that she realized getting married was “kind of exciting,” which prompted her new husband to ask if they could have a real celebration — two months later, the couple hosted a wedding in Venice, Italy.

Salma Hayek Francois-Henri Pinault

Salma Hayek and François-Henri Pinault on the red carpet.

Jordan Strauss/AP

Source: Glamour

The weekend kicked off with a masked ball, and Vogue editor Anna Wintour, U2 frontman Bono, and actresses Penelope Cruz and Charlize Theron were among the 150 guests in attendance. Hayek wore a Balenciaga wedding gown and their daughter, Valentina, served as the flower girl.

Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour stands behind two men

Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour arriving at Salma Hayek and François-Henri Pinault’s wedding in Venice.


Source: Today

Pinault also has two children — François and Mathilde — with his first wife, Dorothée Lepère. He and Lepère divorced in 2005.

François-Henri Pinault and Mathilde Pinault pose for photographers

François-Henri Pinault and Mathilde Pinault pose for photographers at the Women in Motion Awards during the Cannes film festival in May 2022.

Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Source: T Magazine

Pinault and Hayek have owned a collection of homes over the years, including a mansion on Paris’ Left Bank, a ranch near Washington’s Mount Rainier, a Hollywood Hills Cottage, a Bel Air estate, and a home in London.

Salma Hayek Francois Henri Pinault

Pinault and Hayek at the Sun Valley Conference.

Scott Olson/Getty Image

Source: T Magazine, Dirt

In a 2022 interview on “The Ellen Show,” Hayek said the family’s London home seemed haunted, which her daughter backed up on air. “A lot of other people in the house have seen it,” Hayek told DeGeneres. “My husband thinks it’s absolutely nonsense.”


Pinault currently chairs the Kering Foundation, which aims to combat violence against women. And in 2019, when the Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire, Pinault announced that the family would donate 100 million euros, then about $109 million, to help repair the iconic landmark. The Pinaults were among several of France’s richest people to pledge millions in funds for the repairs.

Francois-Henri Pinault, CEO of French luxury group Kering, left, his father Francois Pinault, right, and Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit, center, pose after signing an agreement to raise money for the rebuild of Notre-Dame cathedral, in Paris, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. French billionaire Francois Pinault and his son Francois-Henri Pinault have made a 100 million euros ($109 million) donation for the rebuilding of Notre Dame Cathedral. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

François-Henri Pinault, CEO of French luxury group Kering, left, his father François Pinault, right, and Archbishop of Paris Michel Aupetit, center, pose after signing an agreement to raise money for the rebuild of Notre Dame cathedral.

Associated Press

Source: Kering, Insider

In 2021, Pinault announced that he would end Kering’s use of fur beginning with the autumn 2022 collections. “The world has changed, along with our clients, and luxury needs to adapt,” he told the Evening Standard at the time.

Models walk the Gucci runway during Milan Fashion Week.

Models walk the Gucci runway during Milan Fashion Week.

Victor Virgile/Getty Images

Source: Evening Standard

While the luxury sector has seen strong sales over the past few years, even amid record inflation, there were signs the industry had begun to cool during Kering’s most recent quarterly earnings. Sales fell at Gucci in the fourth quarter, while Balenciaga took a major reputational hit around the holidays. Still, Pinault remains confident: “We are not at all in a transition year,” he told reporters. “We are not slowing down.”

Kering CEO Francois-Henri Pinault sits behind Kering sign during presentation

Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault in 2018.

ERIC PIERMONT/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Vogue Business, Insider