Michel Landel, 66 years old, too obscure chief executive officer of Sodexo, officially retired on the 23rd of January 2018, will not stay long on vacation. Danone, the other jewel in the globalised capitalism, the French just call on him to serve on its board of directors. But there officiera not as a director lambda. It is proposed to become a “lead independent director” of the group and “president of the committee of appointments and remunerations”. This is the time that a wish of the directors, which must be submitted to the vote of the general meeting of Danone on the 26 of April next to be effective.
His appointment to such a position of trust and influence at the top of the food group, causes a rebalancing of power. It coincides with the taking away of Franck Riboud. Become a CEO there are only a few days, on the 1st of December, Emmanuel Faber, had up to this govern the company under the control of Riboud, non-executive chairman, who has just let go of this position, and to whom he has entrusted the rattle symbolic of honorary president. Knowing perfectly the group created by his father, its historic brands, and most of his executive, Franck Riboud remains a director who is present and listening but he is no longer the hand on the levers, especially as it has also ceded the position of chairman of the strategic Committee to Benoit Potier CEO of Air Liquide). Faber is so the CEO of a full year, it has appointed a steering committee strengthened to lead operationally the group under his authority and must now listen to the opinion of three directors that are influential and not in just one.
As explained in the press release, Danone, “Michel Landel will bring to the Board experience and considerable expertise in the sector of consumer services at the international level, as well as in the management of the transformation. As lead independent Director, he will oversee the functioning of the corporate governance of the company. The Board has also decided to extend the tasks and responsibilities of the lead independent Director, expanding its prerogatives in the matter of the fixing of the Council’s agenda and facilitation of the dialogue with the shareholders. This strengthening of the governance will strengthen the momentum initiated by Danone in the new phase of its development and pursue its transformation plan.
The balance sheet of Landel as the patron saint of operational Sodexo speaks for him. Under its mandate, the turnover jumped by 70% and profits have doubled. Director-General under the authority of the founder of Sodexo, Pierre Bellon, it has managed to impose its brand, without ever losing the confidence of its charismatic president and predecessor. It is thanks to him that the task of restoration is now a global giant of the services, with very strong positions in the us (Usa and Brazil). Fluent in English, this boss born in Morocco, little known to the general public in France, has often been sought out as a presenter by the BBC and CNN to intervene at the antenna on topics concerning the French economy. It is he who has placed for a long time, subjects of diversity and gender in the agenda of Sodexo, because a company that is a candidate to hundreds of calls for tender for public and private each year in the world must be able to present references on these subjects, but also because he believes in you. Rare quality in a leader of large group, Michel Landel love is clear and does never any particular merit.
Support and possible use of
These values and culture strong international are real strengths to support Emmanuel Faber and help Danone to do in the face of these two challenges, the most immediate: the integration of its acquisition of american White Wave, and the transformation of the group into a B-Corp (a company pursuing a social goal) which will protect it from the assaults stock hostile. Better yet, if by some misfortune, Faber failed in its ambitious purpose, the discreet and efficient Landel, who has showed that he knew perfectly lead a group of this size, could be a remedy valuable in the event of a hard blow.