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