Where were you working before, and what were your duties?
I was human resources director, Europe and Middle-East, for Landor, covering eight offices. I helped the business develop and implement HR strategies, policies and programmes throughout the regions, and was in charge of organisation and development activities.
What qualifications do you hold?
I hold degrees from the Institut d’´Etudes Politiques de Paris (including a Masters in organisation and development). I also have a law degree.
What will be the duties in your new role?
I am the first HR director for Publicis, so this is about creating the function from scratch in 25 offices covering all regions. Five HR directors report to me, however I have HR support in shared services.
What are the main challenges that HR faces over the next five years?
The scarcity of talent and finding talent.
What is the essential tool in your job?
And the most overrated?
The over-reliance on one tool to do your job effectively.
What is the worst thing about HR?
What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?
I once had a young applicant who did his whole interview in rap. He probably thought it was appropriate for a job in the music industry.
What is the most annoying piece of management jargon?
‘Facilitation’. It is used for everything and anything and has lost its impact.
How do you fill your spare time?
Family and friends – but I don’t even have enough time for them.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Direct, perseverant and tidy.
What is your favourite web page?
What is your worst habit?
What is the greatest risk you have ever taken?
Marrying a Brit (I am French).
What three items would you take to a desert island?
The Bible, photos, and a collection of Mozart concertos.
What is the best office party you have ever attended?
Christmas parties are an Anglo-Saxon concept they don’t really exist in France. I love the fact that people take them seriously and go out of their way to respect the theme.
Sum up your philosophy on life in one sentence.
If you love life, then life will love you back.
Global HR director, Publicis (advertising and communications group)
Sep 1998-Aug 2007
Europe and Middle-East HR director, Landor Associates (branding and design consultancy)
Feb 1995-Aug 1998
HR director, BMG France (music industry)
Feb 1988-Jan 1995
HR manager, GAN (insurance)