PARIS Dec 2 The founder and chairman of
restaurant services group Sodexo, Pierre Bellon, will
be replaced as head of the board by his daughter in January
2016, the board said on Monday.
The family-controlled firm, which sells meal vouchers and
does catering for companies, will continue to be led by chief
executive Pierre Landel.
Bellon wanted one of his four children to succeed him, but
did not want to choose, so he asked them to organise a process
to evaluate the best candidate, he said in an interview with le
Sophie Bellon was the unanimous choice made by a panel of
four board members and ratified on Nov. 29, said Bellon.
Sophie Bellon has been on the board of Sodexo since 1989 and
has held operational roles at the company since 1994, including
client relations and head of the corporate segment in France.
"Through her different functions, she has developed an
extensive knowledge of the Group, its clients and its teams,"
said the board of directors in a statement.
Pierre Bellon has created a holding company to protect the
family's interests in which 38 percent of Sodexo is stored to
shield it from a hostile takeover.
Sodexo shares are up 16 percent this year, lagging an 18
percent rise for France's blue-chip index, and closed at 73.94
euros on Friday. The company has a market capitalisation of 11.6
billion euros ($15.8 billion).
($1 = 0.7345 euros)
(Reporting by Leila Abboud; Editing by Mark Potter)