Articles

Managerial talent and a good knowledge of processes

Jean-Michel Condamin, who graduated from UTC, majoring in Process Engineering (UTC-GP), is currently the Chief Operating Officer for the Cabin & Structures Segment for the Zodiac Aerospace Group, with its 56 factory sites and just over 15 000 personnel spread round the world. His success story is the fruit of a rich track-record where he was able to prove his possession of managerial and strategic policy skills, in addition to his technology-intensive acumen and know-how.

Managerial talent and a good knowledge of processes

 


"It was the close links with the industrial world and the strong innovation & research policy thrust at UTC that largely enriched my years of study there” recalls our 53 year old senior manager, who has several thousand personnel reporting to him. Whilst making the most of the high quality teaching he enjoyed at UTC, Jean-Michel also participated in the UTC Junior Enterprise to apply newly acquired skills and knowledge professionally. The balance struck between serious engineering studies and a rich student association world, with its numerous opportunities, are among the highly positive features he remembers from his years at Compiegne. He was, for example, President of the UTC Undergrads’ Gala in 1989. During his UTC studies, his internship at the Yves -Saint-Laurent, Lassigny site allowed Jean-Michel to combine a passion for electronics, computer sciences and chemistry. During these 6 months in the world of luxury goods, he took part in the implementation of an automated analysis set-up based on chromatography to improve quality assessment (QA) and to reduce needs for resources: “The organic molecules used in perfumes are very complex and can led to creation of unwanted by-products. The challenge consisted of facilitating industrial standardization and reassignment of personnel to tasks that carry better added value”. After graduation, Jean-Michel was offered a first job in research with Rhône - Poulenc in its British site. It was here that he improved his knowledge and fluency in English and his appreciation of Anglo-Saxon culture. It was a strategic move that aid off a few years later when he was recruited by the giant US oil company Exxon. “My ‘GB’ experience allowed me to adapt very quickly to the Exxon company unit in France and to communicate easily with experienced managerial staff, mostly US expatriates”. He learned a lot during these 4 years at the Normandy unit, based at Notre-Dame de Gravenchon. His direct access to the corporate hierarchy and objective-driven management enabled the Frenchie to hold his rank and position well. After proving his talents in the field, he was then offered strategic responsibilities at the Exxon European HQ in Brussels. “My job consists of facilitating the dissemination, in appropriate terms and ways, of HQ policy orientations to the 24 European sites”. This was a function that made him become a member of the Group’s world management network, carrying out numerous professional visits and trips over the entire European continent.

 

Technological know-how, strategy and human contacts

Inasmuch as he wanted, now aged 35, to widen his horizon to take on more international activities, Jean-Michel aimed at directing a factory unit. The plastic engineering company Alfapac (later renamed the Sphere Group – invited him to direct their bench-marking site at Luneray, near Dieppe. Drawing on his experience with a multinational company, he succeeded in increasing the company turn over by 50% in a little less than 3 years. The Board members than asked him to save their Czech Republic factory which had been accumulating poor returns and was subject to numerous plant breakdowns. This mission too as a success, both in terms of manpower questions and technical improvements. During the 2008 financial crisis, the Sphere Group had to repatriate Czech-made goods back to France to avoid massive personnel reduction. Jean-Michel Condamin assumed the personal task of helping redeployment of most of his salaried Czech workers to other local companies. The factory site was then sold and the production tools were brought back to France. This was something of interest to the Zodiac Group who recruited him in 2009. “At the time I was totally ignorant of the aerospace sector but fortunately my knowledge of industrial processes is something that runs transverse in essence to all industrial activities”. He was given the responsibility for the aerospace equipment maker Driessen Galleys based both in the Czech Republic and in the Netherlands, a company recently acquired by the Zodiac Aerospace Group. Jean-Michel succeeded in restoring the confidence of the company’s personnel, saved it financially and, moreover, signed a superb contract with Airbus Industries, amounting to 1 billion euros, two years later. In 2012, he was given the responsibility for a complete segment, with its 4800 personnel before being appointed to the role of COO (Chief Operating Officer) in the Zodiac Group's Cabin & Structures Segment In 2015. His new functions, however, do not stop him from going into the field' regularly. "Even if the purely technical issues are no longer my main areas for concern on a day-to-day basis, deep down I remain an 'industrial man'". Indeed, our high-flying, senior manager Condamin has an acute sense and awareness of human contacts, which together with the reasoning of an engineer, represent qualities primordial to the job.n

 

Bio notes

1992 - 2000 Exxon: Production Engineer, NCS Europe planner

2000 - 2009 Group Sphere: Factory General Manager at Luneray and Managing Director for the Czech Republic 2009 - 2012 Group Zodiac Aerospace:

Managing Director for Driessen Galleys in the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, CEO of Segment Galleys & Equipment,

2012 – Currently with Group Zodiac Aerospace:

Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Cabin & Structures Division, member of the Group’s Executive Board