Serge Dassault Net Worth & Biography
|Popular Name:||Serge Dassault|
|Real Name:||Serge Paul André Bloch|
|Birth Date:||4 April 1925|
|Birth Place:||Paris, France|
|Age:||Died on 28 May 2018 (aged 93)|
|Spouse(s):||Nicole Raffel (m. 1950)|
|Profession:||Engineer, Politician, Businessman|
|Net Worth:||$17 Billion|
Serge Dassault was a French billionaire and aviation baron who was famous for making successful marauds into the media and politics but was caught up in scandals related to corruption later in life. He was the chairman and chief executive officer of the family-owned Dassault Group, and through those roles, he served at the helm of a vast business empire that includes real estate development, software, and media businesses, as well as an auction house and vineyards. He is probable most reputed for building military and civilian aircraft, which has made the Dassault company a kingpin of France’s defense industry and a major exporter of aircraft, most notably the Falcon private jet and the Rafale fighter jet. Dassault Aviation, the Dassault Group’s core business, was led by Mr. Dassault in the 1980s and 1990s before he became the division’s honorary chairman.
At the peak of his career, this businessman was estimated to have the fourth-largest fortune in the whole of France, worth about 19 billion euros ($22.6 billion) according to a Forbes magazine publication. Mr. Dassault inherited the business from his father, Marcel Dassault, an aviation aficionado who founded the company and built such famous fighter planes as the delta-winged Mirage and the Mystère. Serge Dassault shared not only his father’s enthusiasm for aviation but also his interests in media business and politics. He ran for public office as a conservative and acquired several publishing ventures. In 1995, Mr. Dassault was voted mayor of Corbeil-Essonnes, a town southeast of Paris, defeating a Communist incumbent. He was re-elected five times. He also maintained a seat in the Senate, France’s house of Parliament, from 2004 to 2017. Many French politicians and business circles admired Mr. Dassault as an entrepreneur and as a symbol of patriotism. He was one of the most respected businessmen in France during his prime, and today, this article features the full story of his life and career accomplishments.
Mr. Dassault studied engineering before starting work at his family’s company in 1951, first in the aviation wing and then, in 1963, as a senior manager in the company’s electronics division. He was chairman and chief executive officer of Dassault’s aviation branch from 1986 to 2000. In 2014, the Dassault Company named his right-hand man, Charles Edelstenne, currently the company’s chief executive officer, to succeed Mr. Dassault. More details follow below.
Early Life: Childhood, Education, Family
Serge Dassault was born in Paris, France on April 4, 1925, as the younger son of Madeleine Dassault and Marcel Dassault (born Marcel Ferdinand Bloch). His father was born into a Jewish family but later changed his last name when he converted to Roman Catholicism after the Second World War II. In 1944, The Gestapo imprisoned Serge’s whole family in a French detention camp, and Marcel was sent to the Buchenwald concentration camp, where the Germans anticipated to use his services as an aircraft designer. Though other members of Serge’s family were freed within weeks of being seized, the elder Mr. Dassault was freed after eight months when the Germans abandoned the detention camp.
It was in the year 1929 that Marcel Dassault founded what currently stands as Dassault Aviation. For refusing any cooperation from his company during the Second World War, he was sent to Buchenwald but later regained his freedom.
Serge studied at the Lycée Janson de Sailly before earning engineering degrees from the École Polytechnique in 1946 and Supaéro in 1951. In 1963, he completed an Executive MBA from HEC Paris.
Professional Life: Business Career
After his father’s death in 1986, Serge Dassault took complete control of the company and continued to develop it with the help of chief executive officers Charles Edelstenne and Éric Trappier. His group also owned the French newspaper Le Figaro.
In December 1998, he was sentenced to 2 years’ probation in the Belgian Agusta scandal, and was fined about €1,500). Forbes also claims that the family also owns an art auction house, a winery, and a property in Paris, France.
Personal Life: Controversy, Wife, Children, Demise
Dassault ran for public office as a conservative and played significant roles in politics. In 1995, he was voted mayor of Corbeil-Essonnes, a town southeast of Paris. He was re-elected five times. He also maintained a seat in the Senate, France’s house of Parliament, from 2004 to 2017. While many French politicians admired Mr. Dassault, others were critical of his attempts to sway the editorial line at Le Figaro, and the scandals that clouded his later years. In 2009, France’s highest administrative court annulled his re-election as mayor of Corbeil-Essonnes over suspicions of unlawful money donations to voters. He was also under investigation over charges of buying votes in favor of his successor. In February 2017, he was found guilty of tax fraud and money laundering for hiding millions of his own money in tax havens. He was fined two million euros.
Mr. Dassault was 93 years old when he died on Monday 28 May 2018 at his office in Paris. The cause was heart failure, according to a statement by his family first published by the conservative newspaper Le Figaro, which the Dassault Group owns. His funeral was held at Les Invalides, the complex of military museums and monuments in Paris, and Prime Minister Édouard Philippe delivered a eulogy.
He is survived by his wife, Nicole Raffel, four children Olivier, Laurent, Thierry, and Marie-Hélène, and several grandchildren.
Salary, Income Sources, Assets
The late business executive and politician, Serge Dassault, had a net worth of more than 17 billion dollars at the time of his passing. Born in France in the 1920s, he studied at Lycée Janson de Sailly, the École polytechnique, Supaéro and HEC Paris, before inheriting the aviation company, Dassault Aviation, which his father founded. After taking over the company, Serge expanded it into the Dassault Group, leading it as chairman and chief executive officer to own numerous investments in media, aerospace engineering, and software. He made the bulk of his riches through his family’s investments which include the Bordeaux winery Chateau Dassault, Le Groupe Figaro, a 55 percent stake in France’s largest auction house, Artcurial, 62 percent of aircraft maker Dassault Aviation, and 41 percent of software manufacturer Dassault Systemes.