Michel Landel was born in 1951 in Morocco to a Russian mother and French father; his multicultural background led him naturally to an international career.
He graduated from the European Business School in Paris and began his career as a financial analyst at Chase Manhattan Bank, first in the UK, then in the Ivory Coast. He subsequently joined construction companyPoliet, today part of Saint-Gobain, where he managed a factory in Lorraine.
Michel Landel joined Sodexo in 1984 as Operations Manager for Eastern and North Africa. In 1986, he was promoted to Director for Remote Sites operations in Africa. In 1989 he moved to the U.S. to man-age Sodexo’s North American operations. He became CEO for Sodexo in North America in 1999 and in February 2000, was named Vice-Chairman of the Group’s Executive Committee.
For 17 years, Michel Landel worked to build Sodexo’s position in North America, including driving the 1998 merger between Sodexo and Marriott Management Services, then the number one foodservices company in the U.S. Under his leadership, Sodexo became the market leader in North America, where today the Group generates 37% of its revenues and is the largest French employer, with 120,000 people.
In 2005, Michel Landel was appointed CEO of Sodexo Group. Since then, he has led Sodexo’s trans-formation to become the global leader in Quality of Life services.
One of Michel Landel’s top priorities as a manager has always been to foster the human factor within the larger organization. He has committed Sodexo to programs contributing to economic, social and environmental development wherever it operates. Sodexo’s STOP Hunger program to combat hunger, malnutrition and food waste, launched in the U.S. in 1996 under his sponsorship, is now deployed in 42 countries.
Michel Landel’s commitment to diversity and inclusion has resulted in the organization being considered a recognized leader in the area. Under Landel’s leadership, Sodexo was honored with the prestigious 2012 Catalyst Award for its diversity and inclusion strategy that resulted in systemic cultural change for the organization. Sodexo was also ranked #1 in 2010 and #2 in 2011. Sodexo was ranked #1 on the DiversityInc business index of Top Companies for Diversity & Inclusion in 2013 and #2 in 2012.
In addition, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index has named Sodexo a Global Sustainability Leader for ten consecutive years.
He has received many distinguished honors including the CEO Leadership Award from Diversity Best Practices and the CEO Advocate of the Year award from Asian Enterprise magazine. He is a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, sits on the Catalyst Board of Directors, and plays a leadership role in the Women’s Forum CEO Champions.
His interests include sports, travel and cooking. Michel Landel is married, with three children.
Michel Landel's biography (PDF)
The new frontier of performance
"The challenge everywhere is how to reconcile individual needs with the goals of organizations; how to recognize that organizations are also places where people live their lives; and how to place primary emphasis on what improves quality of life." - Michel Landel
Towards a more human economy
"Our beliefs are increasingly shared by economic decision-makers: 66% of business leaders are totally convinced of the importance of quality of life and 57% recognise its significant impact on an organisation’s performance.
This vision of a more people-centric economy governs Sodexo’s internal practices and our relations with the communities where we operate." - Michel Landel
Publication of the authorization concerning the commitment made to Michel Landel, in accordance with Article R. 225-34-1 of the French Commercial Code
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Compensation paid to Michel Landel, CEO Variable compensation paid for fiscal year 2012
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