Gemalto has announced that chief executive officer Olivier Piou has decided to retire from the company at the end of August, 2016. Philippe Vallée, currently chief operating officer of the firm, will be proposed by the board of directors at the annual general meeting of shareholders to become an executive director of the board and the company’s new CEO, from 1 September 2016.
Mr Piou will be proposed by the board to continue to serve as a non-executive director of the company from 1 September.
Olivier Piou, who joined in 1981, has led the company for 18 years, first known as the Smart Cards division of Schlumberger. He introduced it to the stock market in 2004 under the name of Axalto, and then conducted the merger of equals with Gemplus, which created Gemalto in 2006.
Philippe Vallée joined the company in 1992. He is Gemalto’s chief operating officer, with operational responsibility for all the company’s businesses. He has led critical projects such as the EMV ramp up in the US, the integration of SafeNet, the group’s biggest acquisition, and the development of government programmes to capture the growth of this expanding market. Mr Vallée has 27 years of experience in the digital security space, both on the embedded software and product side and on the back-end data centre and cloud technology side. He graduated from the Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble engineering school and from the ESSEC business school. He has held a number of executive roles in Gemalto, including executive vice president Telecom, vice president of Sales & Business Development, and chief technology officer. He has also served in senior positions in Europe and Asia.
“Olivier has been a leader in transforming both Gemalto and the industry during his time as CEO,” says Alex Mandl, chairman of Gemalto. “In 2006, we had one main product line and the business performance relied almost entirely on the sales of SIMs for mobile phones. Now Gemalto provides the broadest portfolio of technologies in the industry used by 10s of thousands of businesses and governmental agencies worldwide and delivers two essential functions for modern digital services: authentication and data protection. As CEO, he has built a strong platform for continuous growth and consistently created value for shareholders, delivering superior results even in the sometimes very challenging external environment.
“The board is delighted to have someone of Philippe Vallée’s experience and leadership within Gemalto to appoint to the role of CEO. Philippe Vallée’s strong business acumen and superior management skills across a range of senior executive roles make him an excellent CEO candidate, highly qualified to take the company forward. The board looks forward to working with Philippe and the entire Gemalto team, suppliers and customers to continue to build on the strong momentum that has been created over the past years.”
Olivier Piou says: “We always take a long-term view about our business and manage change proactively. After such a large number of years at the helm, I believe that this autumn will be the right time to bring in a new leadership, which is ready and able to execute on our next phase of growth. September 2016 is the time when we accelerate the preparation of the company’s next strategic plan. By transitioning management then, I want to give the new CEO the space to design what will come next for Gemalto.
Philippe Vallée says: “I am really honoured to be proposed. All together we have created a tremendous foundation for future growth. Authentication and data protection are truly essential to modern digital services and the products, platforms, software and services that Gemalto provides are fundamental elements of the 21st century way of life.”