Meet Francois-Henri Pinault, Salma Hayek's Husband

Actress Salma Hayek is so well-known for her good looks and charm that fans may forget she's a married woman. Per Harper's Bazaar, François-Henri Pinault, a billionaire businessman running a family-built empire, married the beautiful actress on Valentine's Day in 2009. The union raised eyebrows, with some going so far as to say that Hayek married Pinault for his fortune. She took time to dispel those rumors during a February 2021 appearance on the "Armchair Expert" podcast with Dax Shepard. "When I married him, everybody said, 'Oh, it's an arranged marriage, she married him for the money,'" she expressed. "I'm like, 'Yeah, whatever, b****. Think what you want.' Fifteen years together, and we are strong in love. And I don't even get offended, I'm like, 'Yeah, whatever.'"

That said, there's no denying that Hayek's real-life leading man is very, very wealthy. Because not everyone may be aware of Pinault's background, here's a look at how he made his fortune, and how his romance with Hayek came to be.

François-Henri Pinault is famous for his fashion empire

Per Forbes, François-Henri Pinault is the CEO of luxury fashion group Kering, which he inherited as a family business. The company began as Pinault SA in 1963, and was started by his father, who was also named François. The elder François is the 26th richest person in the world, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index. Pinault SA later became Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, before being shortened to PPR and eventually becoming Kering, via Business and Human Rights Resource Center. During the 1990s, the company — which Forbes notes originally specialized in wood and building materials — shifted towards luxury fashion. Today, it is home to major fashion brands including Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Balenciaga, and Saint Laurent. 

In 2003, Harvard Business Review reported that the elder François handed over the company to his son François-Henri. By 2005, François-Henri assumed the reins as chairman and CEO of the company, via Kering. As the leader of the business, he is an incredibly busy man and a hard worker — both of which are qualities that wife Salma Hayek respects. "My guy, finished work, no matter how hard it was — and trust me he has a lot of responsibilities — big smile on his face, happy to be home, happy to see me and the kids, make us laugh ... They cannot begin to imagine what a joy that human being is," she told Dax Shepard on the "Armchair Expert" podcast.

François-Henri is a father of four

François-Henri Pinault is a proud father of four. He shares two of those children with ex-wife Dorothée Lepère, whom he was married to from 1996 until 2004, per Hollywood Life. Following their split, the outlet reports that Pinault dated supermodel Linda Evangelista. Though the relationship only lasted for a few months, rumors flew after it was revealed that Pinault had fathered Evangelista's son, Augustin James Evangelista, in 2011. The timeline of the conception was well after the two split, and is believed to be during his relationship with current wife, Salma Hayek, according to Hello! Magazine

Pinault and Hayek — who tied the knot in 2009 — also share daughter Valentina Paloma Pinault, who was born in 2007. But for Hayek, the duo's blended family is one of her great joys in life. "I had a child late in life ... I always wanted to have a lot of children, and I was not able to. My body, as a miracle, had one," she told Red in 2017. "The huge blessing I've had is that my husband has three other children. So I have four. And they are all so different." 

François-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek renewed their vows

François-Henri Pinault married Salma Hayek on Valentine's Day 2009 in a Parisian courthouse, per People. In April 2009, the couple had a wedding in Venice with family and friends, including fellow A-listers Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz. Their ceremony took place at the Palazzo Grassi, which — beyond being owned by the Pinault family since 2005 — held a special meaning for the couple as the site of their first meeting place in 2006.

But just in case the double wedding wasn't enough of a show of affection, Pinault surprised Hayek with a vow renewal in Bora Bora, according to Brides. In 2018, the CEO told his wife they were going on a spa day, and instead surprised her with the big romantic gesture. "The summer is coming to an end and my best moment was when my husband surprised me with a vow renewal," Hayek shared on Instagram. "It was not what I would have chosen to wear to my wedding but I was told I was going to the spa!"

François-Henri feels that giving back is important

Philanthropist François-Henri Pinault believes in giving back so much, that in 2008, he established the Kering Foundation, according to the CEO Magazine. As its website notes, the organization supports victims of domestic violence by working with partners to create prevention programs and survivor-centered services. Pinault and the Kering family also pledged $120 million to support Notre Dame reconstruction efforts, after the landmark cathedral was damaged in a fire. "Faced with this tragedy, my father and I have decided to contribute to the funds needed to fully rebuild Notre Dame de Paris in order to bring this jewel of our heritage back to life as soon as possible," Pinault said at the time, via the CEO Magazine. 

However, the publicly announced donation galvanized business rivals like luxury goods group LVMH to follow suit, as AP News reported. In response, both the senior Pinault and his son insisted that they'd chosen to announce their financial contribution to motivate others who were able to help on a large scale to step up. "It is certainly vulgar to make a gesture and then promote it, but the idea was to generate others," the senior Pinault told AP News. Of the Kering donation, Paris Archbishop Michael Aupetit added, "It came spontaneously during that evening, when we didn't yet know whether the cathedral could be saved. It launched a movement that is still ongoing, because we still have 140 donations a week."