Sodexo CEO Michel Landel: What it Means to Be An Inclusive Company
Every day, Sodexo CEO Michel Landel awakens to a world in which his international $14.5 billion market cap food services and facilities management company will service 75 million consumers at 35,000-plus sites in 80 countries with an employee base of 130-nationalities among 425,000 people. The vast majority are women. This makes the Moroccan-born Frenchman – who joined Sodexo in 1984 and has been at the helm of the 50-year-old French company since 2005 –somewhat of an expert on women.
Especially women in the work force – and with good reason: a 2015 company study showed that those business units having an equal number of men and women were consistently more profitable than those dominated by men, leading Landel to comment, “More women in charge means bigger profits.” He even believes in quotas. As Sodexo subscribes to international guidelines and regulations, that profitability does not come at the expense of women’s salaries. Indeed, Landel himself was ranked #67 in the Harvard Business Review’s list of Best-Performing CEOs in the World in 2015.
Sodexo is aggressive in its pursuit of business. Testimony: its win last year to manage minerals company Rio Tinto’s iron ore mining camps in Western Australia, worth $2.5 billion over the length of the ten-year contract. A coup both in scope and duration of the contract, in which Sodexo beat out three competitors.