Pierre Godé, Top Adviser to France’s Richest Man, Dies at 73

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Pierre Godé, right, and Bernard Arnault in 2008. They met in 1973, when Mr. Godé was an attorney for Mr. Arnault’s father, and worked together for three decades. Charles Platiau/Reuters

Pierre Godé, a French lawyer whose steely negotiation skills and strategic vision made him the éminence grise of the world’s largest luxury group, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, has died in Nice, France. He was 73.

The group said in a statement on Friday that he died after a long illness, but it did not specify a cause or say when he died.

Polished, charming and deliberately low profile, Mr. Godé was for 30 years rarely far from the side of Bernard Arnault, LVMH’s chairman and chief executive. The two men set about building a brand portfolio that today includes more than 70 fashion houses, among them Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Bulgari.

Mr. Godé and Mr. Arnault met in 1973, when Mr. Godé was the youngest qualified law professor in France and a lawyer to Mr. Arnault’s father, Jean, the head of a property company.

“I was struck by his talent from our first meeting,” Bernard Arnault, France’s richest man, said in 2000. “He is my closest colleague as well as a confidant and friend without equal.”

Source: The New York Times