Liliane Bettencourt, heiress of French cosmetics giant L'Oreal died on Thursday at the age of 94, L'Oreal group chairman Jean-Paul Agon said.
"I have just learned with great sadness the passing of Mrs Liliane Bettencourt, daughter of Eugene Schueller, founder of the L'Oreal Group," Agon said in a statement.
"We all had a great admiration for Liliane Bettencourt who always looked after L'Oreal, the company and its employees, and was very attached to its success and development, " he added.
Inherited L'Oreal group when her father died in 1957, Bettecnourt was the world's richest woman, with her personal fortune estimated by Forbes magazine in March at 39.5 billion U.S. dollars.
She left L'Oreal board in 2012 after she had been declared unable to run her affairs, after a medical report showed she was suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's disease since 2006.
In 2011, her daughter Francoise Bettencourt Meyers awarded control of her mother's wealth or 33 percent of stake in the French cosmetics empire, ending a a long family dispute over the fortune's management.