Mohed Altrad : entrepreneur and writer
Mohed Altrad, President of the group that bears his name, comes from the Syrian desert. He was born in a nomadic tribe, and orphaned at an early age. As a Bedouin, he was not permitted to attend school. He managed to learn to read by himself and went on to study, first in Raqqa, then in France, where he obtained a number of qualifications, reaching the level of doctorate in IT. He began his professional career as an engineer, first at Alcatel and then at Thomson, before working for ADNOC (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company). He returned to France as a "serial entrepreneur", starting by creating an IT business. Shortly afterwards, in 1985, he purchased Mefran, a small firm specialised in scaffolding, located in the Hérault region. This was the beginning of the Altrad group.
Entrepreneur, recognised and respected business manager, President of Montpellier rugby club (one of the leading clubs in the Top 14, France's national rugby league), Mohed Altrad is also a novelist, essayist, philosopher, unfailing humanist and father of five children. He believes that "entrepreneurs do not build businesses alone. A company is always the fruit of the shared efforts of those who put their own personal commitment into a project […] And the human dimension is essential; it must be respected and promoted […] because it is the group aspect of the adventure that makes it worthwhile."
Mohed Altrad was made an Officer of the Legion of Honour in 2014. He also won the World Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2015. He is the first Frenchman to have won it.
General Management defines the strategy for the Altrad Group. It is headed by Mohed Altrad, founder and President of the group, and by Jan Vanderstraeten and Ran Oren, joint-Chief Executive Officers.
The President's values, shared by all his employees, are based on a humanist conception of the company. This is reflected in the everyday management of the group and its matrix organisational structure.
This organisation enables effective implementation of managerial principles based on three dimensions:
- Subsidiary directors, representing the market and product divisions,
- The holding company, which incorporates the functional divisions to lead and guide the group with agility,
- "Progress Units" or work groups devoted to the continuous improvement of performance.
The Board of Directors
The Altrad Group is committed to the principles of good corporate governance. It has thus opted for a governance structure in compliance with the rules of the AMF (French Financial Markets Authority), even though the parent company is not listed on the stock exchange.
This system of governance relies upon transparency of financial reporting, risk management and ethical rules. This approach reinforces the power of control and independence of directors with respect to the President while ensuring transparency for the shareholders.
The Board of Directors counts on a majority of independent directors who guarantee the objectivity of the proceedings. They do not perform any other function within the group and have no contractual obligation outside their directorship.
The Altrad group has also created the positions of observers, who attend Board meetings in the same manner and with the same level of information as the directors.
The Board also relies upon specialised committees (Finance & Strategy, Human Resources, Audit…), whose work is conducted upstream of the extended meetings with other members of the Board.
The Board focuses essentially on strategic issues such as Business Plan evolutions, financing for sustainable and continuous development, analysis of external growth opportunities.