Billionaires are no match for the Twitterverse.
Luxury goods mogul and LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault has dumped his private jet after Twitter users took to tracking his every plane trip to make an example of how the rich and their rarefied lifestyles are polluting the environment.
Arnault, 73, the world’s second-richest man with a net worth of over $149 billion, said he has sold his private jet because he was Twitter-shamed over his frequent plane use.
He’s still flying, though, but a bit differently in hopes of evading the Twitterverse radar.
“Indeed, with all these stories, the group had a plane and we sold it,” Arnault told an LVMH-owned radio station, on Monday. “The result now is that no one can see where I go because I rent planes when I use private planes.”
Bloomberg first reported the story.
The French billionaire is co-founder of the luxury goods group that owns some of the most prestigious brands in the world, including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Fendi, Moet & Chandon and Givenchy Parfums.
Frequent use of private jets by celebrities became a hot topic in France over the summer, with some politicians proposing to ban or tax private jets, Bloomberg reported.
Arnault’s oldest son offered another explanation for his dad shifting to rental planes.
“It’s not very good that our competitors can know where we are at any moment,” Antoine Arnault told the radio station. “That can give ideas, it can also give leads, clues.”
Billionaires and celebrities in the US have also come under fire on social media for their constant private air travel.
Elon Musk tried to pay off a 19-year-old from Florida to stop tracking his private jet use. Jack Sweeney rejected the $5,000 offer from Musk to delete the Twitter account that tracks the Musk’s private jet journeys. The college freshman has developed about a dozen other flight bot accounts that track the travels of high-profile tech titans, including Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.
And Kylie Jenner faced backlash on Twitter over the summer when users denounced her use of private planes for trips that sometimes were only a few minutes long.