Perspectives from ISB

Bouygues SA is a French conglomerate that specialises in construction, real estate development, media, and telecommunications. The company was founded in 1952 by Francis Bouygues and since 1989 has been led by his son Martin Bouygues. In 2015 it had over 120,000 employees in 100 countries, generating €32.428 billion in revenue.

 The company has been contemplating a change of guard for some time now. Martin had recently mentioned that he wanted the succession issue to be resolved by 2017. At the company’s shareholder meeting in April, he had even named his son, Edward, and his nephew, Cyril, to the board of directors. Edward and Cyril Bouygues are both in their early 30s.

 Meanwhile Olivier Bouygues, 65, the brother of Martin Bouygues, has been the deputy CEO of the company since 2002. Now in a recent move the company has elevated Olivier Roussat, 51, head of Bouygues’ telecoms unit, and Philippe Marien, 60, the CFO, as two new additional deputy CEOs. They will serve alongside Olivier.

 This move is seen by analysts as a clear signal from the family-controlled company towards choosing a successor to Martin Bouygues, the 64-year-old chairman and CEO. Roussat is not only the youngest among the three deputy CEOs, but is also a highly regarded executive in France. As such there are speculations that he is being groomed as the successor.

 Source: Wall Street Journal, Sept. 1, 2016