Every weekday in December, tED magazine is counting down the Top 20 Stories of 2016. Below, the #19 most-viewed story of the year, originally published on June 27, 2016.
The Board of Directors of Rexel decided at its meeting on June 23, 2016 to adopt a new governance structure and split the duties of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
As a result of a divergence of views with the Board of Directors about the change in governance and Rudy Provoost’s approach to implementing the Group’s strategy, he was invited to relinquish his positions of Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer on June 30, 2016.
Consequently, François Henrot, currently Deputy-Chairman and Senior Independent Director, has been nominated by the Board of Directors as its Chairman on an interim basis with effect from July 1, 2016, and Patrick Berard has been appointed as Rexel’s new Chief Executive Officer, also effective July 1, 2016.
Henrot said, “On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I would like to express our sincere thanks to Rudy Provoost for his commitment and contribution to Rexel. Under his stewardship, Rexel has become a more customer-centric and digital-focused company, which provide strong foundations on which to build. We are delighted that Patrick Berard will be taking over as Chief Executive Officer. His deep knowledge of Rexel’s business and strong drive are major assets that will allow Rexel to accelerate its growth and consolidate its market leadership. I am also thrilled that Ian Meakins has accepted to join Rexel’s Board and to become its Non-Executive Chairman once he steps down from his current position at Wolseley. Ian’s track-record there, his industry experience and strong management skills will be key to ensuring strict execution of Rexel’s strategy and value creation for all stakeholders.”
Rexel’s Board of Directors also decided it will co-opt Ian Meakins as an independent director in replacement of Rudy Provoost. Meakins will join the Board of Directors on July 1, 2016 and become Non-Executive Chairman of the Board on October 1, 2016.
Meakins stated, “I am delighted to be joining Rexel’s Board of Directors and subsequently assuming the role of Non-Executive Chairman. Rexel is a leader in its field with strong potential for further profitable growth. I am convinced that Patrick Berard and I bring complementary experience and skills to the table that will drive superior returns for shareholders.”
Berard added, “I am honoured to have been asked by the Board of Directors to become Chief Executive Officer of Rexel. I intend to build on all the experience I have gained during my 13 years at the company to accelerate its growth, capitalizing on Rexel’s leading market positions, strong relations with clients and suppliers, industrial expertise and highly competent teams. I look forward to working with Rexel’s teams and Board of Directors to take the company forward in a rapidly-evolving energy world.”
Berard’s broad industry experience, knowledge of Rexel’s business and excellent management skills will be strong assets for the company. He has occupied a variety of senior management positions at Rexel since joining the company in 2003. In his most recent position, he has been in charge of Rexel’s European operations since July 2015.
Meakins announced earlier this year his intention of retiring from his current position of CEO of Wolseley plc on August 31, 2016. On October 1, 2016, he will become Non-Executive Chairman of Rexel’s Board of Directors and Mr. Henrot, who is also Chairman of the Nomination and Compensation Committee, will resume his previous position of Deputy-Chairman and Senior Independent Director.
Meakins will bring to Rexel’s Board his strong knowledge of B-to-B distribution, recognised management abilities and an international perspective. During his tenure at Wolseley, he significantly reshaped the group into a focused plumbing, heating and building products distribution business. His appointment to the Board will be subject to shareholder approval at Rexel’s Annual General Meeting in 2017.
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