Board of Directors

The Elior Group Board of Directors comprises ten members who are elected for four-year terms. Six of the members are independent directors and four are women directors.

Role and responsibilities of the Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for reviewing and approving all of Elior Group’s main strategic, financial, HR and CSR decisions, and for ensuring that these decisions are effectively implemented by executive management. You can find the role and responsibilities of the Board of Directors in the registration document.

Members of the Board of Directors

The members of the Elior Group Board of Directors are as follows:

  • Gilles Cojan, Chairman of the Board of Directors
  • Gilles Auffret, senior independent director
  • Anne Busquet, independent director
  • Emilio Cuatrecasas, independent director (representative of Emesa)
  • Virginie Duperat-Vergne, independent director (representative of FSP)
  • Bernard Gault, independent director
  • Philippe Guillemot, Chief Executive Officer, director
  • Sophie Javary, director (representative of Servinvest*)
  • Elisabeth Van Damme, independent director (representative of CDPQ)
  • Robert Zolade, Honorary Chairman, director (representative of BIM*)
  • Célia Cornu, non-voting member

* Entities controlled directly or indirectly by Robert Zolade


Gilles Cojan, Chairman of the Board of Directors

Gilles Cojan graduated from ESSEC business school in 1977. He began his career in 1978 as Treasurer at the pharmaceuticals group, Servier, before joining Banque Transatlantique to take up the position of CEO of its subsidiary, GTI Finance. In 1990, he was appointed head of the Financing and Treasury department at Valeo.

Gilles Cojan joined Elior in 1992 as Chief Financial Officer before going on to become CEO of Elior International and Group Chief Strategy Officer. Acting alongside Elior’s founders – Robert Zolade and Francis Markus – he ensured the success of the MBO organized in 1992 and completed in 1996. Then in 1997, again with the founders, he organized two successive LBOs for the contract catering and concession catering businesses, which resulted in the creation of the Elior Group. As from that date he was directly responsible for implementing the Group’s internationalization strategy, which led to it successively entering the UK, Spanish and Italian markets. Gilles Cojan was the driving force behind a number of the major partnerships that have stepped up the pace of the Group’s growth, including the partnership set up in 2001 with the Spain-based company Areas, which helped the Group strengthen its leadership position in concession catering, and then the alliance forged in 2013 with the founder of THS, which underpinned Elior’s rapid development strategy in the United States. In 2000, he oversaw Elior’s IPO and then in 2006, with Robert Zolade, he organized the Company’s voluntary stock market de-listing followed by a new LBO carried out with the aim of accelerating the Group’s development. In 2010, he had the idea of creating a “services” business which has now become an integral part of the Group.

Since 2007, Gilles Cojan has also been the CEO of BIM, Elior Group’s principal shareholder. In the same year he was appointed a member of Elior’s Supervisory Board, sitting alongside Robert Zolade and representatives of Charterhouse, and in June 2014, when the Company was re-listed, he became a member of its Board of Directors. He is currently a member of Elior Group’s Audit Committee and its Strategy, Investments and CSR Committee and was appointed Vice-Chairman of the Group on July 26, 2017. Gilles Cojan was appointed Chairman of Elior Group’s Board of Directors on November 1, 2017.


Gilles Auffret, senior independent director

Gilles Auffret is currently Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Azulis and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Terreal. He held various management and executive positions within the Pechiney group between 1982 and 1999 and then within Solvay Rhodia from 2001 to 2013. Prior to that he was an auditor at the Cour des Comptes between 1975 and 1978, and chargé de mission within the French Ministry of Trade and Industry between 1978 and 1982. Gilles Auffret is a graduate of École Polytechnique, IEP, École Nationale de la Statistique et de l’Administration Économique, and ENA.


Anne Busquet, independent director

Anne Busquet has been principal at AMB Advisors LLC in New York since 2006. She began her career in 1973 at Hilton International before joining the American Express group in 1978, where she held several high executive positions. She served as President of AMB Advisors from 2001 to 2003, when she joined InterActiveCorp as President of Travel Services and was subsequently appointed CEO of Local and Media Services.


Emilio Cuatrecasas, independent director (representative of Emesa)

Emilio Cuatrecasas is Chairman of Corporación Empresarial Emesa and Non-Executive Chairman of Areas. He began his career in 1977 as a lawyer at the Cuatrecasas law firm, where he successively held the posts of Managing Partner, Chief Executive Officer and President until 2014. In 2005 he was awarded the Cross of Honor of the Civil Order of San Raimundo de Peñafort. He is currently the Honorary President of the non-profit association, Barcelona Global, and Asociación para el Progreso de la Dirección.


Virginie Duperat-Vergne, independent director (representative of FSP)

Virginie Duperat-Vergne was appointed as Company Chief Financial Officer for Gemalto on December 1, 2017. She started her career as an external auditor and spent more than 10 years at Arthur Andersen, then Ernst & Young (now EY) before joining Canal + Group as Compliance Officer for Accounting Standards. She then held various positions over 7 years in TechnipFMC’s Group Finance team from Group Chief Accounting Officer to Group Controller, eventually becoming Group Deputy Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Senior Leadership Team at TechnipFMC. She holds a master's degree in management from Toulouse Business School.


Bernard Gault, independent director

An investment banker and an investor himself, Bernard Gault is the founding associate of investment firm Barville & Co, created in 2016, and a co-founder of advisory and asset management firm Perella Weinberg Partners, launched in 2006. He started his career in 1982 at Compagnie Financière de Suez before joining Morgan Stanley en 1988, where he was Managing Director by the time he left in 2006. He received a degree from Centrale Paris and Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris.


Philippe Guillemot, Chief Executive Officer, director

Philippe Guillemot was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Elior Group on December 5, 2017.

Between 2013 and 2016, Philippe Guillemot was Chief Operating Officer at Alcatel-Lucent, a global company with significant exposure to the US market and at the heart of the digital revolution. He was brought into the company to draw up a business recovery and transformation plan and subsequently oversaw Alcatel-Lucent's integration into Nokia.

From 2010 through 2012, he was CEO and a Board member of Europcar, where he modernized the company’s brand image and offerings to make them more appealing and more suited to customer expectations. During his time with Europcar he also launched a large-scale plan to improve operating efficiency in very challenging market conditions.

From 2004 through 2010, Philippe Guillemot served as Chairman and CEO of Areva Transmission and Distribution (T&D), which subsequently became a division of Alstom, and was a member of Areva’s Executive Committee. In this role he successfully implemented two strategic plans to turn around the business and significantly boost its profitability. During the six years he was with Areva T&D, the entity extensively enlarged its international footprint, doubled its revenue and increased its value fourfold.

Before joining Areva T&D, Philippe Guillemot was a member of the Executive Committees at the automotive suppliers Faurecia (2001-2003) and Valeo (1998-2000). At both of these companies he oversaw the global expansion of divisions with revenue of several billion euros. Prior to that he held executive posts at Michelin (1993-1998 and 1983-1989), where he was appointed to his first Executive Committee position at the age of thirty-six. Alongside Edouard Michelin he was the architect behind the product line-based organization structure that enabled Michelin to pursue a profitable growth trajectory and whose fundamentals are still in place today.

Aged 58, Philippe Guillemot holds an MBA from Harvard University and is a graduate of the French engineering school, École des Mines de Nancy. He is also a knight of the French National Order of Merit.

Philippe Guillemot is a director of two companies listed on the New York stock exchange (Constellium and Sonoco).


Sophie Javary, director (representative of Servinvest)

Sophie Javary has been heading up the EMEA Corporate Finance department at BNP Paribas since 2013. She began her career with Bank of America before moving to Indosuez. In 1994, she was appointed Managing Director and Managing Partner at Rothschild and then in 2011, she joined Paribas as Managing Director of the Investment Banking Europe division. In 2013, she became a Knight of the French Legion of Honor.


Elisabeth Van Damme, independent director (representative of CDPQ)

Elisabeth Van Damme is currently a partner at Redwood Finance, a financial services firm, having held the post of Chief Financial Officer of Bureau Van Dijk until 2008. Prior to that, she worked at Coca-Cola and was an auditor at KPMG (BBKS/Peat Marwick). Elisabeth Van Damme holds a degree in Applied Economics.


Robert Zolade, Honorary Chairman, director (representative of BIM*)

Robert Zolade is the co-founder of the Elior group, which he co-chaired and then chaired since it was formed in 1991, until 2014. Previously, he held various executive positions within the Accor group, including Chairman and CEO of Société Générale de Restauration in 1990, and Chief Executive Officer of Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits et de Tourisme from 1990 to 1992. Robert Zolade graduated from Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (IEP) and also holds a degree in law and a post-graduate degree in economics.


Célia Cornu, non-voting member

Célia Cornu has been Chief Executive Officer of Compagnie Hôtelière de Bagatelle since 2015 and she is a member of the Strategy Committee at Sofibim. She began her career in the marketing departments of the Printemps and Galeries Lafayette groups before moving into financial investment at Pragma Capital and Advent International. She subsequently joined BIM in 2009.



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