Vinci’s Serge Michel dies

By Sandy Guthrie20 March 2019

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Serge Michel, former chairman of the French company that became Vinci, has died at the age of 92.

He was chairman of SGE (Société Générale d’Entreprises), which became Vinci in 2000, and was a member of its board of directors.

His entire career was spent in the building and public works sector. In 1981, Compagnie Saint-Gobain acquired a majority stake in SGE from Compagnie Générale d’Electricité. At the time, Michel was head of Sogea and of the Saint-Gobain company-sector branch.

Vinci said that he had been the natural choice to become chairman and CEO of SGE, and he set about restructuring and reorganising the set of companies, which became one of the French leaders in building and public works.

In 1991, Michel ceased operational responsibilities in the SGE Group, which by then was a subsidiary of Compagnie Générale des Eaux. However, he remained a member of its board until 2006.

Xavier Huillard, Vinci CEO and chairman

Xavier Huillard, Vinci CEO and chairman

Once he had left behind his operational responsibilities, Michel set up Soficot, which worked in three areas – document management, catering (including Paris’s well-known Pavillon Ledoyen), and as a consultancy for companies.

Xavier Huillard, current chairman and CEO of Vinci, said, “Serge Michel was an exceptional entrepreneur who never stopped learning. He knew how to build relations, which enabled him to find the best talents, to relate and to exchange, and always with great kindness.”

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