Michel Landel

Michel Landel is the CEO of Sodexo Group, a position he has held since 2005. Since then, he has led Sodexo’s transformation to become the global leader in Quality of Life services.

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 company Poliet, 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 manage 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 food-services company in the U.S. Under his leadership, Sodexo became the market leader in North America, where today the Group generates 41% of its revenues and is the largest French employer, with 132,000 people.

In 2005, Michel Landel was appointed CEO of Sodexo Group. Since then, he has led Sodexo’s transformation 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 eleven consecutive years.

Landel 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.

Michel Landel figures on Harvard Business Review’s 2015 ranking of The Best-Performing CEOs in the World (67 in the top 100 worldwide).

Michel Landel is French.

His interests include sports, travel and cooking.

Minimizing food waste is an integral part of creating an effective sustainable consumption system for the future. Worldwide, more than 30 percent of produced food is never consumed, while more than 800 million people still suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Recently Sodexo co-founded the International Food Waste Coalition with major actors including Ardo, McCain, PepsiCo, SCA, Unilever Food Solutions, and the WWF, to act to reverse this trend. Our common challenge is to minimize waste throughout the value chain, ‘from the field to the fork,’ an urgent mission given the high economic, social, and environmental cost of waste, and one which resonates strongly with Sodexo’s commitment to improve quality of life in the communities we serve.” — Michel Landel


Sodexo’s Work to Reduce Food Loss and Waste

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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 manage 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. In 2005, Michel Landel was appointed CEO of Sodexo Group. Since then, he has led Sodexo’s transformation to become the global leader in Quality of Life services.

Under Landel’s leadership, Sodexo was ranked #1 on the DiversityInc business index of Top Companies for Diversity & Inclusion in 2013. In addition, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index has named Sodexo a Global Sustainability Leader for twelve consecutive years.

Landel 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. In 2016, at the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles awards, Michel Landel was awarded the CEO Leadership Award. 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. Michel Landel figures on Harvard Business Review’s 2016 ranking of The Best-Performing CEOs in the World (61 in the top 100 worldwide).

Since its founding, Sodexo has worked to contribute to the economic, social and environmental development of the communities, regions and countries where it operates. Sodexo promotes sustainable procurement practices, encourages reduction of water and energy consumption and fights against waste. As a major global food services company, Landel has always recognized the major role Sodexo has to engage and to act globally, and the impact the company has on preventing the creation of surplus food and waste. Below are highlights of some key initiatives:

Sodexo Fighting FLW in Schools and Senior Care Facilities
Sodexo has made a commitment to the Zero Food Waste to Landfills initiative. In 2014, Sodexo deployed WasteWatch, a comprehensive program to prevent and reduce food waste, at 75 U.S. campuses and achieved an average reduction of 48.5 percent in pre-consumer food waste.

Before Food Waste was on the public agenda, as it is today, Michel Landel saw the need to tackle system-wide challenges of food waste via a value chain collaboration of like-minded organizations. An action orientated food waste Coalition focused on driving change via the adoption of best and new practices, delivered in a very practical and pragmatic way. His vision became a reality in April 2015 with the creation of the International Food Waste Coalition, a collaborative farm-to-plate alliance against food waste throughout the food service industry. The Coalition promotes value chain collaboration, implements concrete actions and drives conversations around food waste prevention.

In October 2016, Sodexo started to deploy the International Food Waste Coalition SKOOL program to schools after a successful pilot phase in Europe. Working with the Food and Agriculture Organization and IFWC, the company tested an effective food waste management program that saved 2.5 tons of food waste—that’s more than 4,500 meals.

In senior care facilities in France, Sodexo developed Win Back the Taste of Life, an innovation that aims to give seniors back enjoyment of meals. Sodexo believes this program will impact quality of life for not just senior-care residents and their families, but also for its staff who will know their efforts in preparing these meals are valued. And food that is more palatable will result in less waste.

Sodexo Fighting FLW Across the Supply Chain… With Support from the Local Community
At the production and supply chain level, Sodexo forms relationships with local farmers, growers and suppliers to provide closely sourced produce for its sites as one way to contribute to the solution of reducing food waste. These relationships remind the Company that addressing food waste not only helps protect the environment, it is also an important step in valuing the labor involved in planting, harvesting, preparing and serving the food on our plates.