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Interviews

Alumni with an exemplary or atypical career answer our questions about their activities, and the secrets of their success. Check our French site for even more contents! (Page under construction)

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Sébastien Bencherqui (C13), co-founder of Bubblz: "We had neither a team, nor money, nor a product, nor a market. But – we had an idea!"

In 2013, Sébastien Bencherqui (C13) launched Bubblz, a start-up specialised in company process management and digitalisation. Five years later, he tells us all about his success story. Bubblz provides clients with an intuitive SaaS platform that makes it super-simple to supervise, secure and analyse various workflows in order to gain in performance and productivity. Moreover, Bubblz enables ...
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Jérôme Barthélémy (E97), Film Producer and Cesar Laureate: "It’s the culmination of 4 years’ work"

The 2018 Cesar for Best Animated Short Film was awarded to Grandpa Walrus, a film directed by Lucrèce Andreae and produced by Jérôme Barthélémy (E97). The former ESSEC student told us how the project came about, and what it’s like to receive such a prestigious award.  ESSEC Alumni: What’s Grandpa Walrus about? Jérôme Barthélémy: Grandpa Walrus tells the story of a family that gets together to...
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Romain Pilliard (C98), sailor: "I run the Route du Rhum to promote the circular economy"

Sail professional Romain Pilliard (C98) decided to run the Route du Rhum with a trimaran maintained according to the circular economy principles – because the fight against pollution also takes place at sea. EA: Why did you decide to defend the circular economy cause specifically? R. Pilliard: I spent a lot of time on the sea, I travelled all over the world, including in China, and what I sa...
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Alexia Leleu (M09), CEO, Maison Leleu: "Relaunching a company is about finding the right balance between tradition and modernity"

Founded in 1910, Maison Leleu, specialist furniture makers with worldwide renown, ended production in 1973. 45 years later, Alexia Leleu (M09) left the pharmaceutical industry to revive the family business. A radical change of scene – which she reveals to us on an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour. EA: Why did you choose to relaunch the family business now?  A. Leleu: I’ve only really apprecia...
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Max Métral (E16), Formula 1® Insight Manager: "I’m a fierce believer in the power of grit"

For Max Métral (E16) a career in the international sports industry had always been in his sights and ESSEC provided the unique opportunity to set his own course and explore the horizon. This led him across the Channel to the UK, Manchester City FC and now Formula 1 racing. Full revs on Max Métral and life in the fast track. Max Métral recently joined Formula 1® as Insight Manager, with a role ...
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Damien Viel, Managing Director of Twitter France

Twitter has celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2016. Despite its 320 million active monthly users worldwide, most analysts would say the 140-character microblogging site has not yet found its economic model. This is something its cofounder Jack Dorsey, who returned as CEO of the business in 2015, strongly denies. At the same time, Damien Viel (E97), from YouTube (Google), became the new managi...
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Céline Saada-Benaben, Managing Director of eBay France

Céline Saada-Benaben (E93), Managing Director of eBay France, is celebrating 10 years with the famous platform. During that time she has progressed as quickly as the site itself, occupying no less than six positions. She provides an overview for ESSEC Alumni. ESSEC Alumni: eBay marked its 20-year anniversary in 2015. What’s the secret to longevity in a sector as fast changing as the Internet? ...
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David Simonnet, Chief Executive Officer of the Axyntis Group

David Simonnet (E93) leads the Axyntis Group, an independent company he created in 2007 and France’s market leader in fine chemicals thanks to its industrial capacity (6 factories, 3 R&D centers, 430 employees and more than €80M of turnover with 70% added value). He is currently finalizing the takeover of the active ingredient manufacturing activity from the American group 3M. His credo: a ...
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Hubert Védrine: the Asian Challenge

He is one of the most influential speakers today on the topic of geopolitics for the Left and Right alike. Jacques Chirac boasts of his expert analyses combined with a perfect command of the mechanisms of diplomacy. Hubert Védrine answers our questions. ESSEC Alumni: Do you believe that there is a French and European perspective regarding Asia? Hubert Védrine: I do not think so simply because...
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Nicolas Bos, CEO at Van Cleef & Arpels

43-year old Nicolas Bos (E92) is a happy man. Born and raised in Paris, the father of two daughters, age 10 and 12, runs renowned jeweller Van Cleef & Arpels with the mission "to combine a century-long heritage history of innovation with a rich identity set in a contemporary world". He has a passion for arts, theatre, literature and old books, and has been working with global luxury giant R...

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