When the inter-company dialogue goes through the inter-German dialogue to achieve a successful merger
3 questions… on your feelings onTOTAL FINA and ELF mergers…
How did you learn about the merger?
When the Total-Fina wedding was announced, I was in Germany, where I worked for Fina Deutschland as head of BtoB activities. It was a Monday and I was on the road early in the morning when my wife called me. I remember that week I had a board of directors and the inauguration of a gas station in Frankfurt am Main. In fact, the integration with Total seemed easy, since I started my career in the refinery of Duisburg, on the Rhine, which was jointly operated by Fina and Total. In a way, we had the impression to see cousins a little lost sight!
How did you find your marks in the new Total?
The creation of the new ensemble Total-Fina-Elf asked me - me and my colleagues - an effort of dialogue not with Elf, as one might expect, but inter-German dialogue! Let me explain: in the wake of reunification, in the mid-1990s Elf acquired a distribution network in Germany that included the Länder from the former GDR. Working with our "East German" colleagues has been very interesting from a human perspective, as our methods and approach to business were very different! But it took us one to two years to understand each other and learn to work well together.
What did it mean to you to belong to one of the top five global oil companies?
A certain pride undeniably, but I think it was above all the prospect of a career much more open. Quite honestly, without the Total-Fina-Elf merger, I do not think I would have had the opportunity to come live in Paris!