Sodexho: Who, Where, How Much?

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A Corporate Profile

By Corporate Watch UK
Completed February 2004

3. Who, where, how much?


Sodexho Alliance


Global Headquarters Sodexho Alliance S.A. 3 Avenue Newton, Saint Quentin En Yvelines, 78883, France

Sodexho has 315,141 employees based on 24,700 sites in 74 countries worldwide.22 20% of which are based in the UK.23

Company value: On 14th November 2003, Sodexho announced its full year profit as 162 million Euros ($191 million) This is 11.3% lower than it had been the previous year. Sodexho, who have issued a number of profit warnings over the last two years, put on a brave face as Morgan Stanley downgraded Sodexho shares from 'equal weight' to 'under weight' and Deutschebank withdrew the share from its main European list.24

The company blamed the fall in the dollar for this loss, as over half its revenue comes from US operations, where it is also losing market share to The Compass Group.

Disappointment over the growth figures added to investor fears over a looming class action lawsuit filed in the US on behalf of 2,600 current and former employees of Sodexho alleging racial discrimination. See section on 'Discrimination' in 'Corporate Crimes' section.

Earlier in 2003, the company's share price came under pressure amid worries that diplomatic tensions over war in Iraq could damage its US operations, with particular concern over a record $1bn contract with the US Marine Corps.25

Sodexho is currently embroiled in a scandal that knocked 8% off its share value. On January 9th 2004, market analysts, Smith Barney, claimed Sodexho had revealed ?82m (£57million) of previously undisclosed securitisation at its UK division in a 20-F filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US in December. The accusation being that Sodexho had used this to artificially boost its working capital in financial results released in November. A few days later, Smith Barney retracted this accusation saying that the disputed securitisation had not been hidden by Sodexho. Smith Barney stressed, however, that it had not changed its 'sell' recommendation on Sodexho stock. Sodexho had asked the AMF, the French markets regulator, to investigate movements in its share price and has threatened to sue Smith Barney.26

Auditors: KPMG 27

Major Shareholders 28

  • The Bellon Family, through the family holding company, Bellon S.A.,own 38.69%
  • Unamed French Institutions: 25.90%
  • Unamed French Indivuduals: 8.90%
  • Non-French Shareholders 23.18%
  • Treasury Stock 1.70%
  • Employees 1.63%

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Members of the Board of Directors 29

Sodexho is still very much a family business as is illustrated by the current Board of Directors.30

Chairman Pierre Bellon (74 years old.)

Bellon is the founder of Sodexho as we know it today, and has, until this year, been very involved in the running of the business. In April 2003, he announced his intention to bow out of the group gradually. He would have retired earlier if Sodexho had not been beset with merger-acquisition problems over the past five years. Bellon handed operational control to the group's managing director, Albert George, in 2000.31

According to the 2001/2002 Annual report, Pierre Bellon is chairman of the Supervisory Board of Bellon SA., the family holding company that controls Sodexho Alliance S.A.

He is also the director of a number of Sodexho subsidiaries such as Abbar & Zainy Sodexho Catering Company Ltd., Sodexho Inc., Sodexho Netherland, Sodexho Ltd.

He is on the supervisory board of Air Liquide S.A. Founded in 1902, Air Liquide is the world leader in industrial and medical gases and related services. He is a member of the supervisory board of Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, a massive French multinational whose products span from department store retailing to electrical goods catalogues, building materials to financial services offering consumer credit. He is a director of the Association Nationale des Société par Actions (ANSA). He is vice-president of pro-privatisation French employer's organisation, Medef.

He and his family are worth around a billion dollars, making them, according to, the 427th richest people in the world, and in the top ten list of richest Frenchmen.32

Remi Baudin – Vice Chairman.

Remi co-founded Sodexho as we know it today, with Pierre in 1966.

Astrid Bellon

Member of the Executive Board, Bellon SA

Bernard Bellon - Chief Executive Officer,

Finadvance S.A., this is a veture capital company.

Francois-Xavier Bellon

Member of the Executive Board of Bellon SA

Sophie Clamens

works for Bellon S.A. as a special projects advisor for Sodexho Alliance.

Patrice Douce

was the Group Chief Operating Officer for Sodexho from 1990 to 2001.

Paul Jeanbart

Co-founder, Partner and Chief Executive Officer, Rolaco Group. I am unclear whether this is the same company as Rolaco Trading and Contracting, a large diversified Saudi Arabian company, that amongst other divisons has a sevices, a purchasing services and hotel division. See

He has many other directorships such as Oryx Finance Ltd, Hotel Intercontinentale, Geneve, Semiranis Hotel Co, Delta International Bank, XL Capital Ltd and Nasco Insurance Group. He is also on the advisory group of Club Mediteranee S.A.

Francois Perigot

a former Unilever executive and Chairman of UNICE, the European Employers and Industry Union, he is currently the chairman of Medef International, the Franco-Dutch chamber of commerce and the International Employer's Organisation.

He is on the board of directors of Astra Calve, Lever, CDC Participations and Sabate- Diosos.

Edouard de Royere

Honorary Chairman, L’Air Liquide.33 Also on the Board of Directors of three other venerable French companies, Danone, Michelin and L'Oreal.

Nathalie Szabo - Member of the Executive Board, Bellon SA

Mark Tompkins

Unclear what his current job is, but sounds like he's a venture capitalist/ business consultant. He is on the board of directors of Bio Projects International Ltd. and Calcitech Ltd.

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Senior Executives 34


In June 2003, Sodexho's Group Chief Operating Officer, Albert George, resigned after having suffered a stroke earlier in the year. He had been seen as a natural successor to Pierre Bellon, so his health problems and resignation have probably come as a blow to the company.

In response to the situation, Jean-Michel Dhenain and Michel Landel, who were previously Vice-Presidents of the Executive Committee, were appointed joint Presidents and Chief Operating Officers. Jean-Michel Dhenain will remain the CEO for Continental Europe, as well as taking responsibility for South America and Asia-Australia. Michel Landel will remain CEO of Sodexho Inc., as well as supervising the United Kingdom, Ireland and the remote site management activity.35

Jean-Michel has been with the firm since 1971 and risen through the ranks. He is President of the Chamber Opera of France, based in Menton. He is also an accomplished oenologist (winemaker), a Chevalier in the Order des Coteaux de Champagne and a member of the Chevaliers du Tastevin.

Michel has been with the company since 1984 and was the CEO of Sodexho Inc. before this promotion

Other members of the Executive Committee include:

  • Elisabeth Carpentier – Senior Vice President, Human Resources
  • Sian Herbert-Jones – Chief Financial Officer
  • Clodine Pincemin – Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications
  • Dick Macedonia, Chief Operating Officer of Sodexho in North America
  • Vincent Hillenmeyer, Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning.

Sodexho Alliance Senior management Sodexho breaks its activities down by country/region and then by activity. Each country and each activity has it’s own Chief Operating Officer, or equivalent, who sit on Sodexho's operational leadership team.

Details can found on each country’s website, which can reach by initially going to the main website (

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UK facts and figures 36

  • Turnover: £1,044,311,000
  • Employees: 54,322
  • Clients: 3,847

UK Auditors: Price Waterhouse Coopers37

Senior UK & Ireland Management Team 38


Mark Shipman - Chief Executive, Food and Management Services. Shipman joined Sodexho in 2002 after the debacle with accounting irregularities. See Corporate Crimes section on 'Accounting Irregularies'. He previously headed up the Wood Company, a leading provider of contract food services, in the USA which was acquired by Sodexho in 2001.39 Shipman sits on the British Hospitality Association Council.

Herb Nahapiet OBEChief Executive, UK Detention Services Ltd Herb sits on the Institute of Physics, Built Environment and Transport panel.
He also sits of the Government's LINKS/TCS panel, which is an advisory structure for industrial collaboration and technology transfer schemes.

He is a visiting professor at the Bartlett, which is the faculty of the Built Environment at University College, London.
He is also Sodexho's "Worldwide Market Champion for Correctional Services". See later section on 'Sodexho and Prisons'.

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UK Locations

Head Office Kenley House

Kenley Lane

Kenley, Surrey CR8 5ED

(44) 208 763 12 12

(44) 208 763 10 44

PR and Press Office The Merchant Centre

New Street Square,

London EC4A 3BF

(44) 207 815 06 10

(44) 20 7832 7832

Subsidiaries mentioned on the Sodexho website include:

  • Adicarte Technology in Milton Keynes
  • Universal Sodexho in Aberdeen
  • Sodexho Leisure Services in Alperton, Middlesex
  • Catamaran Cruises/Bateaux London on Charing Cross Pier in Central London.
  • Sodexho Defence Services in Aldershot
  • Sodexho Land Technology.

There are dozens of other UK Sodexho offices. The best way to find them is either to go through or

Other UK Subsidiaries named in 2001/2002 Annual Report (100% ultimate ownership unless indicated).

  • Agecroft Prison Management (50%)
  • Sodexho Services Group Ltd.
  • HPC Limited (25%)
  • Sodexho International Holdings Ltd
  • Keyline Travel Management
  • Sodexho Limited
  • Sodexho Prestige Limited
  • Universal Sodexho Scotland
  • Harmondsworth Detention Services Ltd
  • United Kingdom Detention Services (UKDS)
  • Tillery Valley Foods Limited
  • Rugby Hospitality 2003 Ltd (55%)
  • Sodexho Holdings Ltd
  • Sodexho Education Services Ltd
  • Sodexho Management Services Ltd
  • Cadogan Caterers Ltd
  • Sodexho Services Ltd
  • Sodexho Support Service
  • Universal Sodexho Holding Ltd
  • Universal Services Europe Ltd
  • Primary Management Aldershot (60%)
  • Mercia Healthcare Holding Ltd (25%)
  • South Manchester Healthcare Ltd (25%)
  • Sodexho Pass Ltd

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References 22 viewed 07/10/03

23 (viewed 21/06/03)

24"Sodexho share falls 1.97%" La Tribune 28/11/03 and "Sodexho drops on broker downgrade" AFX UK (Focus) 17/11/03 viewed 1/12/03

25 "Sodexho blames weak dollar for sales drop" By Martin Arnold in Paris site 8/10/03

26Sodexho may sue over Smith Barney report by Heather Stewart. The Guardian Jan 14, 2004

27Yahoo Biz Sodexho profile viewed 10/11/03

28 (2001/2 annual report). Viewed 07/10/03

29 viewed 07/10/03

30Pierre Bellon: Gargantua of the Canteens. Le Nouvel Observateur 7 November 2002 viewed 7/10/03

31"Sodexho chief to step down" Les Echos 22/4/03 and "Sodehxo Alliance Announces Appointment to Two Presidents and Chief Operating Officers" BusinessWire 12/6/03 viewed 1/12/03

34 viewed 07/10/03

35"Sodexho Alliance announces the appointment of two Presidents and Chief Operating Officers" BusinessWire 12/6/03 viewed 10/11/03

37"Sodexho hit by British shortfall" BBC online 20 September 2002 viewed 10/11/03

38 viewed 07/10/03