Is English the "official" language at the company or do I need to learn French?
Thanks to Google I can "translate" things....
"If all goes well, the leader and the chairman of the Supervisory Board maintain tensions is not a problem , says a source, but in times of crisis, everything goes . " Each member of the family wants to intervene to find a solution.
This 9th floor did nothing spectacular. The wide corridor , beige tone is a little neater another floor of the headquarters of PSA Peugeot -Citroën , 75, avenue de la Grande Armee in the 16th arrondissement of Paris . The carpet is a hair thicker than elsewhere . Leaders have their privileged access , with separate , more discreet lift, while the visitor must pass his badge. It is here that plays driving the automobile group. And its future.
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Carlos Tavares , the future Chairman of the Board , beginning in January 2014 , there has not yet office. But since early December there goes regularly to familiarize themselves with the company and teams. Objective: To prepare to succeed Philippe Varin . These next few weeks are important because it must integrate the complex geography of the power of this jewel of French industry.
This requires a good understanding of the " reactor core ": the Peugeot family. " Peugeot is special, warns familiar places . They only have a quarter of the capital and 38% of voting rights , but PSA is to them, it's them. Must inform, meet regularly. To reassure them, show that they are not the key. "
The family is omnipresent. To all floors. Not less than fifteen heirs 7th, 8th and 9th generations of a dynasty born in the eighteenth century work for the manufacturer. At an operational position. Or as administrator. "At Peugeot , we do not mix the two ," warns a close .
9th floor , however, the two mingle. Here , Thierry , Robert, Jean -Philippe and Marie- Hélène Roncoroni , sister of Thierry , have an office as directors , while Christian 's brother Thierry , Public Affairs Group, is housed near the team. Between the office of Thierry , Chairman of the Supervisory Board , and Mr. Varin , there is a double door. " It is only used when it bard ," says an insider.
Peugeot chose longtime cede operational power . "This is a choice of governance of the family, remember a loved one. Get the best on the market to run the business was a good thing. This does not mean that Peugeot are sidelined : they are always there . "
To understand the balance within the family , a return to 2002 is necessary. In December , dies Pierre Peugeot , the undisputed leader of the clan. A trio from the 8th generation comes to power : Thierry , his son , Robert and Jean -Philippe , his nephews. This triumvirate has its differences , but knows how to bring on the essentials. " For a decision on the future of PSA , provides a connoisseur , he must come to convince at least two out of three. There is rarely total consensus. In contrast, when both agree , the third is aligned , usually . "
RELATIONS DEGRADED DECADE
Should we still manage to reconcile , as their relationship deteriorated over the last ten years. Blame it on a transition undigested . In 2002 , the heir of Peter seems most natural is Robert , 52 years old at the time, then the Executive Committee. This Centrale rose all levels and leads the innovation and quality. Industrial and sure of his leadership, he underwent a sling family called " TSR ": " Everything but Robert ! "
In a Protestant family and unobtrusive , Robert, too bling- bling, adept hunts in Africa, too different from his cousins, who prefer family weekends in the Franche-Comté campaigns. Vexed , Robert does not leave the group. He became head of FFP holding company 19 % stake in PSA . He will diversify ( Seb , Zodiac , Sanef ...) to identify new revenue. "That does not mean he wants to withdraw the holding of the automobile, a judge of his relatives. It has a duty vis-à- vis all the shareholders of the company, of which 20% are from the family. This leads him to be pragmatic. "
If FFP should withdraw from PSA , Robert would not lose everything. Instead of Thierry . It inherits in 2002 the most prestigious position : Chairman of the Supervisory Board. The distribution of posts is made to the number of shares held by each branch of the family. " The branch of Thierry was the strongest , so the more legitimate , even if Thierry , he was not yet ready for such a position ," says an expert group .
Attached to the group , Thierry , who loves cars, are returned as 32 years before the chair , 46 . He inherited a nickname that sticks to the skin : the menhir . Both law as an "i" , of course , persevering, reliable, but difficult to move , and especially to decide . "When you expect a decision on his part, you should calibrate at least two meetings ," confirmed by several executives. " Thierry check everything twice, adds a former board member . It is suspicious and does not always trust him. "
Finally, Jean -Philippe completes the trio . Amateur racer , is a connoisseur of the company. According to a former officer, " he traces a lot of information from the base and is in this, very useful." At the head of the family funds unlisted Etablissements Peugeot Frères , which owns 80% of FFP , he plays matchmaker between Thierry and Robert . For his two cousins rarely agree .
In 2006 , when Jean- Martin Folz , who chairs the Executive warns Thierry for his departure , it does not move and Jean -Philippe and Robert learn later say . They demand accountability . Thierry explains that he will appoint Frédéric Saint -Geours , one of his relatives. "It exploded between the three, tells a familiar , because the poor performance of the Peugeot brand , led by Frédéric Saint -Geours , did not plead in his favor. "
The family must find a replacement. Mr. Varin , identified by Mr. Folz Pechiney is contacted, but can not be released . Family opts for Christian Streiff . However, in summer 2008 , overworked , Mr. Streiff suffered three strokes. Despite his disability , Thierry Peugeot insists on maintaining its position. "He supported beyond reasonable ," a court near. At a family reunion in February 2009 , Robert and Jean -Philippe Thierry launch : "Either Christian Streiff hand, or it's you ..." Atmosphere .
Mr. Varin , ON EJECTION SEAT SINCE 2012
In 2009, Mr. Varin joined the group . With his experience, polished , his composure and his natural authority ways , the new CEO seems reassuring and manage three cousins. But remember a former resident of the 9th floor, " when they arrive, all new presidents ensure they understand the complexity of the family. Each time, after a few months , relations tend . "
Mr. Varin is no exception . "If all goes well, the leader and the chairman of the Supervisory Board maintain tensions is not a problem , says a source, but in times of crisis, everything goes . " Each member of the family wants to intervene to find a solution.
This is what happens with the crisis PSA since 2012 . By the end of spring, Mr. Varin is on shaky ground . If revived manufacturer in China, it has obtained the consent of the family for an alliance - industrial and capital - with the American General Motors, whose magnitude will then systematically downgraded , group sales always plunge Europe.
"The three cousins were willing to part with it because of its poor results. Robert said, we will not do that if we have a replacement. Thierry , he wanted to do it immediately , "said a close group. Other sources claim that Mr. Varin would rather put his resignation in the balance because of his difficult relationship with Thierry . The Supervisory Board - in which are entered since 2012 Dominique Reiniche , patroness of Coca- Cola in Europe, and Thierry Pilenko , CEO of Technip , or, later , in early 2013 , Louis Gallois, imposed by the State which has made a warranty 7 billion euros to the bank subsidiary of the group - push the status quo.
The search for a successor is not less momentum, with the consent of Mr. Varin . But without knighted by three cousins candidate, it is renewed in February 2013 for another term to finish the second part of his plan to prepare the company for the post-2015 including a capital increase dilute , futures, Peugeot . But at what level? Peugeot traded toe to toe for this dilution is less strong as possible .
One thing is certain : if Mr. Varin, before leaving, finalizing an agreement with the Chinese Dongfeng and the state, which will see them enter the capital of the group, the future of PSA is Carlos Tavares, who will have to manage. He will have to juggle not with one but with three shareholders of weight. Maybe he will be easier to agree with the only family Peugeot .