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Jean Muls (INSEAD MBA94)
“Leading change”
2014 Career Management Conference
PROFILE
• CEO with 20 years of leadership experience - led teams of >2000 employees, P&L
responsibility with yearly revenu...
EDUCATION
• Master in Civil Engineering "Magna cum Laude", Université Libre de Bruxelles (1986)
• Master in Business Admin...
“Engineering studies were hard. I really had to work a lot. That I obtained my Engineering Degree with
Magna cum laude whi...
“Three things I retained from my time at Insead :
• My education in business management by top teachers
• The interactions...
IMDC, Subsidiary of Tractebel, GDF Suez (France) : 1987-1993 (ao)
Engineering branch of global energy and services busines...
“One of my first jobs after graduation as young engineer was a soil investigation campaign of the
riverbed of the Congo, b...
“Guided by handmade maps, with wild animals
on one side of the river and the Angolan
Liberation Army on the other, it was ...
“Another project I was involved
in is the reclamation of the
artificial island for the new
Hong Kong airport, one of
Asia’...
GENERAL ELECTRIC (U.S.A.) : 1995-1999
Global diversified services, technology & manufacturing company (US$ 129 MM,
340.000...
“After my MBA I joined General Electric. The
timing was perfect. As THE most admired
company in the world, it attracted re...
“It’s at GE that I really learnt how to run a
company. How to start with the customer,
strategically reflect what a market...
“GE was at that time acquiring one company
per week in Europe, on average. It was
going global and learning along the way
...
BOMBARDIER Inc. (Canada) : 1999-2001
World leading manufacturer of business jets, regional aircraft, rail transportation
e...
“In 1999 an ex-GE colleague that worked for
Bombardier as COO of the Transportation
division, a manufacturer of rolling st...
“Since Bogies were such a critical
component, I played an important role in
many Bombardier’s highly visible projects,
lit...
“My biggest contribution was the SNCF’ AGC order. It was won end of 2001 thanks to the innovative train
configuration we p...
FLIGHTCARE : 2002-2005
Dominant ground handling company at Brussels National Airport (100 M€, 1.500 people), a
subsidiary ...
“I returned to Belgium at the same time that SABENA – Belgium’s national flag carrier - went in
bankruptcy. The end of an ...
“And I became CEO of BGS, a newly created company that was founded on the assets of two
departments of the bankrupt compan...
“With its Sabena background and its dominant position on Belgium’s international airport,
BGS – later renamed Flightcare -...
“We reacted by communicating - both internally and externally - about
the state of the company, its initiatives, the progr...
AIB-VINÇOTTE : 2005-2009
Specialised testing, inspection & certification company (200 M€, 2.200 people). Present in
approx...
When I joined Aib-Vincotte, I was told that the main problem to be tackled was the high level of salaries
of its employees...
“After a couple of months, I became
convinced of the market potential of the
accumulated experience. Instead of (only)
cut...
“Aib Vinçotte – accredited body under the
European pressure vessel directive - had
been heavily involved in all type of co...
“International expansion was also one of
our growth priorities. Growth based on the
company’s expertise. From 2005 to 2010...
“The cherry on the cake of our
innovation and expansion
initiatives was the award of
ITER’s TOKAMAK reactor vessel
order (...
IMTECH Belgium : 2009 to date
(1200 employees – 200 m€) one of Imtech’s Divisions (Strategic Business Unit), active in
ind...
“My mandate was twofold :
• Hold P&L responsibility over Imtech
Belgium
• Work on external growth initiatives
towards Fran...
“It is only in 2011 when I recruited a new
CFO, that the severity of the problem came
to the surface.
From 2011 onwards, w...
“On Feb 04, 2013, Imtech’s Group Management
announced it postponed publication of its
results, due to “financial irregular...
Career Management Conference (Jean Muls, MBA Insead)
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Career Management Conference (Jean Muls, MBA Insead)

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Career Management Conference (Jean Muls, MBA Insead)

  1. 1. Jean Muls (INSEAD MBA94) “Leading change” 2014 Career Management Conference
  2. 2. PROFILE • CEO with 20 years of leadership experience - led teams of >2000 employees, P&L responsibility with yearly revenues of 200m€ and projects up to 500 m€ - gained with highly professional organizations active in industry (manufacturing and production) and B- to-B services, at global level (across Europe, North America & Asia). • Relevant track record in : - Leading large international organizations in complex environments, ensuring stability at moments of turbulence and uncertainty. - Performance driven change – Operational Excellence, driving sales, innovation & growth in established firms, restructuring mature entities, crisis management. - International expansion - New market entries, M&A, acquisition integration, setting up and growing new ventures and partnerships (Europe, Asia & Americas). • Work experience in the following industries : - Energy & Technical Services - Construction & Infrastructure - Manufacturing - Aviation, transport & logistics - Testing, inspection & control - B-to-B services • Master Degree Civil Engineering “Magna cum Laude” (ULB, 1986) and MBA (Insead, 1994) • Native bilingual Dutch & French. Fluent in English. Basic knowledge of German & Spanish. ImtechAib-VincotteFlightcareBombardierGeneral ElectricIMDCEducation
  3. 3. EDUCATION • Master in Civil Engineering "Magna cum Laude", Université Libre de Bruxelles (1986) • Master in Business Administration - INSEAD, Fontainebleau (1994) • Qualified as Six sigma Master Black Belt (1996). Implemented & applied Process Design (DMADV), Process Improvement (DMAIC) & Process Management in large multi-country B-to-B service organizations. • Global Leadership Development Program : General Electric’s pinnacle leadership development program (1998-1999) ImtechAib-VincotteFlightcareBombardierGeneral ElectricIMDCEducation
  4. 4. “Engineering studies were hard. I really had to work a lot. That I obtained my Engineering Degree with Magna cum laude whilst at the same time been an active member of the Faculty Student Association - I was later rewarded for my contribution with it’s medal of Honour – made me feel proud.”
  5. 5. “Three things I retained from my time at Insead : • My education in business management by top teachers • The interactions with co-students coming from totally opposite business and national backgrounds – more than 80 diffrerent nationalities in a group of 240 students • Many good friends and a powerfull network”
  6. 6. IMDC, Subsidiary of Tractebel, GDF Suez (France) : 1987-1993 (ao) Engineering branch of global energy and services business, specialized in Marine and dredging works Project manager Conducted projects in remote environments: • Optimization of maintenance dredging of Congo river, Banane – Matadi. • Planning, Budgeting of Hong Kong Airport Island reclamation project. • Site supervision of Niamey University (Niger) construction project. Student internship ImtechAib-VincotteFlightcareBombardierGeneral ElectricIMDCEducation
  7. 7. “One of my first jobs after graduation as young engineer was a soil investigation campaign of the riverbed of the Congo, between the port of Matadi and the Atlantic Ocean. I was responsible for a boat and a team of about 40 workers on it. An eye-opening experience !”
  8. 8. “Guided by handmade maps, with wild animals on one side of the river and the Angolan Liberation Army on the other, it was a challenge.”
  9. 9. “Another project I was involved in is the reclamation of the artificial island for the new Hong Kong airport, one of Asia’s most frequented airports. I was proud of being part of it. Being able to se it all take shape out of nothing …”
  10. 10. GENERAL ELECTRIC (U.S.A.) : 1995-1999 Global diversified services, technology & manufacturing company (US$ 129 MM, 340.000 people) Management positions at global level, in several countries • As Director Acquisition Integration in one of GE’s divisions, involved in many acquisitions, then merged and integrated newly acquired companies to ensure implementation of acquisition business case. • As Finance Director of a newly acquired entity : Restructured loss making operations and transformed zero-growth company into fast expanding and performing entity • As Director International Key Accounts at GE Europe Finance & Services : Shaped & implemented new international sales organisation. ImtechAib-VincotteFlightcareBombardierGeneral ElectricIMDCEducation
  11. 11. “After my MBA I joined General Electric. The timing was perfect. As THE most admired company in the world, it attracted really good people, top talent, the most remarkable leaders. I was just over thirty years old. I was given the opportunity to witness in real life what inspiring leadership was about, and I did my best to follow the example. An opportunity I grasped with both hands. I never saw so many excellent leaders in the same place.”
  12. 12. “It’s at GE that I really learnt how to run a company. How to start with the customer, strategically reflect what a market is about, how to set up a sound business model to capture desired market opportunities, how to structure an organization to accomplish that goal. And then how to defines roles and responsibilities, set up systems and processes. We used to call it Execution.”
  13. 13. “GE was at that time acquiring one company per week in Europe, on average. It was going global and learning along the way how to manage in diversified cultural environments. GE’s model was to acquire companies in selected markets and then to enhance their management and performance to GE standards. Next to management and leadership, the other thing I learned at GE is CHANGE. I learned to walk in a company and to rapidly detect what needed to change to enhance it’s performance. And then to do it, to lead the change and be accountable for it. GE was involved in so many acquisitions that it develop a specific and unique expertise on how to integrate acquisitions. Half were doing well, the other half didn’t. Results of GE’s findings about successful integrations and performance driven change found their way to a HBR article in 1998.”
  14. 14. BOMBARDIER Inc. (Canada) : 1999-2001 World leading manufacturer of business jets, regional aircraft, rail transportation equipment and motorised recreational products. (CAN€ 13MM, 56.000 people) Vice-President, member of the Executive Board Bombardier Europe Managing Director of Bogies Centre of Expertise/BU (headquartered in France) • Shaped and implemented end-customer centred strategy for Bogies’ Centre of Expertise, as a stand-alone Business Unit (Bogie = highly critical component in rail transportation OEM). • Negotiated complex projects at global level (a.o. in China, Venezuela, Mexico, ...) • Centralised mechanical manufacturing & assembly activities into new state-of-the art assembly plant. • Pulled together global engineering development teams, creating innovative and differentiating products (France’s TGV, Japan Shinkanzen Hi-Speed bogies, UK Virgin tilting trains, …). • Starting from a challenger position, enabled Bombardier to secure its second largest order in its history (SNCF AGC) thanks to its bogie technology. ImtechAib-VincotteFlightcareBombardierGeneral ElectricIMDCEducation
  15. 15. “In 1999 an ex-GE colleague that worked for Bombardier as COO of the Transportation division, a manufacturer of rolling stock, convinced me to join them. To be successful as a rolling stock manufacturer, you need to master two critical competences : motorization and bogies. Bogies are critical components and have a direct impact on a train’s safety and comfort. Bombardier had decided to gather all its bogie expertise in Europe in a single management structure. German, English and French engineers were going to design and manufacture bogies for various Bombardier projects across the globe but also for competitors.
  16. 16. “Since Bogies were such a critical component, I played an important role in many Bombardier’s highly visible projects, literally around the globe. From the Hi-speed bogies for the Thalys, France’s first HI-Speed train that really changed medium range travelling habits, … to the Virgin tilting trains that we built for Richard Branson, based on an expertise that was imported from Canada … and to R&D projects with the Japanese railway authority, validating the technical superiority of Bombardier’s Bogies.”
  17. 17. “My biggest contribution was the SNCF’ AGC order. It was won end of 2001 thanks to the innovative train configuration we proposed. It was made possible by adapting a German Bogie design to the SNCF needs. A major breakthrough ! Our French competitor – with it’s traditional concept - didn’t make a chance.”
  18. 18. FLIGHTCARE : 2002-2005 Dominant ground handling company at Brussels National Airport (100 M€, 1.500 people), a subsidiary of FCC (3rd services & construction group in Spain), now part of Swissport. Managing Director (reporting to FCC Versia, based Madrid) • Started up a new company by transferring 1500 employees, customers and other assets from SABENA in receivership. • Turned around 2 largest departments of former SABENA into customer-oriented, high performance and profitable company with responsibility over whole added-value chain. • Restored social climate and trust in industrial relations. • Realized productivity gains of 25% and delivered double digit EBITDA margin after 3 years of existence. ImtechAib-VincotteFlightcareBombardierGeneral ElectricIMDCEducation
  19. 19. “I returned to Belgium at the same time that SABENA – Belgium’s national flag carrier - went in bankruptcy. The end of an era.”
  20. 20. “And I became CEO of BGS, a newly created company that was founded on the assets of two departments of the bankrupt company : handling and cargo, with 1500 staff and about 60 customers.
  21. 21. “With its Sabena background and its dominant position on Belgium’s international airport, BGS – later renamed Flightcare - was a highly visible enterprise … an ideal platform for social activists that attempted to destabilize the young company, in order to regain the visibility and power they had lost with the disappearance of SABENA.
  22. 22. “We reacted by communicating - both internally and externally - about the state of the company, its initiatives, the progress we made and its good results. In 2004 we won the global ramp handling award, rewarding superior service and safety performance, discerned by the handling industry. In 2005, as one of the largest companies and employers of the airport we launched the “I love my airport job” initiative with VOKA. All to illustrate the strength of Fligthcare.”
  23. 23. AIB-VINÇOTTE : 2005-2009 Specialised testing, inspection & certification company (200 M€, 2.200 people). Present in approx. 20 countries, HQ in Belgium Managing Director (reporting to the Board of Directors). Chairman of the Board of AIB-Vincotte’s international subsidiaries and Joint-Ventures • Boosted new product innovation and implemented growth initiatives in new markets & services. • Delivered quality and productivity gains by introducing state-of-the-art information exchange platforms. • Entered new geographical markets (Canada, Middle-East & Asia). • Delivered substantial organic growth in both revenues (recruited 600+ new staff) and profitability with a steady growing share (30%) of international operations. • After years of liquidity issues, restored stable and above market profitability. • As member of the Board, played a decisive role in the debate whether or not to sell the company’s assets. ImtechAib-VincotteFlightcareBombardierGeneral ElectricIMDCEducation
  24. 24. When I joined Aib-Vincotte, I was told that the main problem to be tackled was the high level of salaries of its employees. It had liquidity problems and year-on-year revenue was flat.
  25. 25. “After a couple of months, I became convinced of the market potential of the accumulated experience. Instead of (only) cutting costs, I focused on innovation and new market-service development and got my teams to work on detecting new opportunities and developing new services. We had expertise in control of electrical components in the process industry. So we went for the booming market of Datacenters (picture next : team inspecting a circuit breaker for Google’s datacenter in Ghlin).”
  26. 26. “Aib Vinçotte – accredited body under the European pressure vessel directive - had been heavily involved in all type of controls and inspections during the construction and operation of Fluxys’ LNG terminal in Belgium. In the context of the Gate Terminal project in Rotterdam, we got in contact with the port of Rotterdam and the authorities that ultimately asked Vinçotte to assist them to set up the appropriate inspection framework to guarantee safety during the construction of the LNG terminal (illustration left above). That gave us a strong advantage to win the TPI contract itself (illustration left below), further strengthening Vinçotte position in gas inspection and control, at global level.”
  27. 27. “International expansion was also one of our growth priorities. Growth based on the company’s expertise. From 2005 to 2010, we expanded Aib-Vinçotte’s share of business at international level to more than 30%. In 2010, our staff in the Middde East, where we partnered with local investors, reached 300 (picture left above : Vinçotte Middle East team during ADIPEC Exhibition). We also looked at market opportunities in India. As the country’s demand for energy was huge and its energy transport networks required expansion, we targeted that market. We accomplished that by winning the inspection contract for the construction of GAIL DVPL II pipeline.”
  28. 28. “The cherry on the cake of our innovation and expansion initiatives was the award of ITER’s TOKAMAK reactor vessel order (illustration right). Vinçotte – a 150 year old company – was thereby all of a sudden a key player in this global R&D project aiming to prove the technological and commercial feasibility of nuclear fusion as a future source of energy (www.iter.org). In 2010 all contacts to sell the company initiated when it had liquidity problems were interrupted. Vinçotte is still doing well today.”
  29. 29. IMTECH Belgium : 2009 to date (1200 employees – 200 m€) one of Imtech’s Divisions (Strategic Business Unit), active in industry & buildings market. Imtech is a european technical services provider in the fields of electrical, mechanical and ICT solutions (29.000 employees - 5.1 B€) Managing Director (reporting to CEO Imtech) • Transformed holding structure into operational integrated organisation (integrating 7 companies acquired in late 1990’s). Delivering synergies and enhancing collaboration. • Designed and rolled out operational excellence & industrial risk management programs. Professionalised company’s main management processes – from strategic marketing & sales to back-office shared services, IT, Risk Mgt, controlling. • Steered M&A development, negotiated LOI terms. • Restructured loss making business units, implemented new Marketing & Sales strategy and redeployed towards new market segments, including addition of new services. • Returned to profit (double digit EBITDA margin improvement) and a healthy balance sheet within 3 years. ImtechAib-VincotteFlightcareBombardierGeneral ElectricIMDCEducation
  30. 30. “My mandate was twofold : • Hold P&L responsibility over Imtech Belgium • Work on external growth initiatives towards France, Imtech’s blind spot in Europe. My work experience in France and understanding of its business culture was giving me a unique position in the integration process of the merger that was being contemplated. When I joined, Imtech Belgium was headed by an interim CEO. I rapidly realized that Imtech, despite its image, was decentralized to the extreme. Although acquired for more than ten years, except for the name, nothing had changed. So when the first BU went in problems we didn’t see it coming. This led to the first restructuring of one of the Business Units in 2010.”
  31. 31. “It is only in 2011 when I recruited a new CFO, that the severity of the problem came to the surface. From 2011 onwards, with a small team composed of the CFO, the CHRO and myself, we cleaned, rationalized, put in place risk management and control mechanisms, and transformed Imtech into a professional organization. The clean up resulted in important losses in 2011 and 2012. It was a delicate balancing act. In some parts of the business we had to let go some employees and were confronted with social unrest. In other we were taking market share and growing at 10% per year. We hit break even in the third quarter of 2013, about 2 years later.”
  32. 32. “On Feb 04, 2013, Imtech’s Group Management announced it postponed publication of its results, due to “financial irregularities” on a polish project. The same day stock dropped by more than half. Imtech’s lenders required a forensic investigation of the whole group revealing more irregularities in Imtech Germany, the division that was responsible for Poland. Group Management and the Executive Council was dismissed and replaced in (quasi) full. 1500 job cuts followed. All acquisition projects were stopped, including my projects in France. M&A teams were dismissed. More than one year later, there are little signs of improvement, resulting in the divestiture of the ICT Division. Many say other will follow. Imtech Belgium is doing well, but the size of its success is of a different order of magnitude than the problems in Germany or Netherlands, resulting in further layoffs and cost cuttings.”

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