The consortium acquiring part of Suez, after the takeover bid (takeover bid) of Veolia, chose its managing director, replacing Bertrand Camus, former operational boss of the world’s number two in environmental services: Sabrina Soussan, who notably worked at Siemens. Composed of the French Meridiam and American funds Global Infrastructure Partners, associated with the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and CNP Assurances, the consortium explained that this engineer by training ” attached to[it] to the implementation of the new Suez strategy (…), through an ambitious development plan in its two main businesses, water and waste management ”.
She will also have to drive “A leading ecological transition policy”. “Sabrina Soussan will bring transversality and a team spirit”, assures Thierry Déau, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Meridiam, who recognizes him “Strong convictions on sustainable development”. After graduating from the National School of Mechanics and Aerotechnics, she joined Renault. She then worked at the German Siemens, particularly in the transport business, where she was appointed director in 2017. Since the start of 2021 she has been managing the Swiss multinational Dormakaba (security equipment).
Dozens of candidates have been auditioned since the spring, whether they come from the company or from outside. The choice of a woman was not an imperative, even if the public shareholder Caisse des Dépôts is not unhappy to be consistent with the objectives of its supervisory authority, the State, concerned about the feminization of companies. at the highest level. On the other hand, the very international and operational profile of Mme Soussan – like that of Catherine MacGregor at Engie – won over the new shareholders.
7 billion euros in turnover and 45,000 employees
Mme Soussan, 52, will take office at the end of January, after the closure (closing) of the operation, which has yet to obtain the green light from the European competition authorities. She will be assisted by two Suez executives as deputy managing directors: Ana Giros, currently responsible for Asia-Africa-Middle East and major industrial accounts, and Maximilien Pellegrini, who heads activities in France.
At the end of a Homeric battle lasting nearly eight months with its historic rival Veolia, led by its president, Philippe Varin, and Mr. Camus, who did not wish to participate in the“Adventure” of the new Suez, the two groups finally reached an agreement in mid-April, finally sealed in mid-May.
Suez was able to keep all of the water and waste activities in France, a much less lucrative market than before, as well as a few assets abroad (China, Australia, etc.). A solid base of some 7 billion euros in turnover (against 17.2 billion in 2020) and 45,000 employees, which should enable it to develop, assure its former managers; a perimeter “Too small to have a sufficient critical size”, denounced, on the contrary, the inter-union, fiercely opposed to the dismantling of Suez, which recalls that growth is now taking place internationally.
Above all, this operation consolidates Veolia in its position as “World champion of ecological transformation”, as it now defines itself. Even if, with a turnover of 37 billion, it only holds 3% to 4% of a market split into multiple players. The group notably took over the large British, American (formerly GE Water) and Spanish (Agbar) subsidiaries of Suez.