Ouvrir le menu

NEOMA's world

Thematics :

During the PGE Master’s in Management opening seminar entitled Starting Days, the students were given the opportunity to meet their programme sponsor in person, Jean-Baptiste SANTOUL, CEO of Ferrero France.
As a NEOMA Business School Reims graduate (former ESC Reims), he was keen to share his professional experience with the new 2018 students (class of 2021).
A look back at his speech during the Starting Days opening ceremony.

From detergents to chocolate: a prestigious sponsor for the new school year

Jean-Baptiste Santoul – CEO, Groupe Ferrero France, describes his career path since prep. school. “My prep. school years left a deep impression on me. They taught me how to work, how to face up to adversity and above all not to panic.”

The CEO of Ferrero France then gives an outline of his 25 years' professional experience in consumer goods and international markets. First at Unilever in the Hygiene and Beauty sector, then at Henkel in France and Germany, then in North Africa in the Detergents and Household Cleaning Products division, before returning to Europe where he took over the management of the Benelux and then French subsidiaries.

Jean Baptiste Santoul

The ‘Detergents and Household Cleaning’ sector was the Holy Grail of Marketing when I left school,” Jean-Baptiste Santoul explains to an auditorium of slightly perplexed, inexperienced students. “From a professional standpoint these products are absolutely fascinating,” the Ferrero CEO adds, “even if cleaning isn’t exactly enjoyable!

Jean-Baptiste Santoul

Anticipate, to always remain in control of your career

Jean-Baptiste Santoul continues his story by explaining the strategy that led him to make choices throughout his career. “After spending 20 years at Henkel, I was contacted by a Head-hunter with an offer to take over as Head of Ferrero France. And I hope it won’t be too long before these expert recruiters become your best friends! In terms of career, my policy has always been to stay one step ahead and not wait for things to happen on their own. It is the key to staying in control of your own career path: take risks and always have an eye on the next step. I have therefore often asked myself this very simple question, and I invite you to do the same, as many times as you consider necessary: ‘Stop or more?’ As a result, I arrived at Ferrero more than one year ago already. And since then, I have been living with all my family in Rouen.”

Jean Baptiste SANTOUL web


Following his speech, Jean-Baptiste Santoul was interviewed by two PGE 2nd year students, in which he reflects on his relationship with NEOMA BS and his position as a sponsor. “I am a former NEOMA BS student, a class of ’92 graduate. As such, my relationship with the school is very strong. After graduating I was a member of the alumni for many years. So, to return after 25 years is highly symbolic. By accepting the role of sponsor, I hope to share with you the benefit of not only my experience, but also my doubts and convictions, and to support you throughout your studies. My goal is to establish a sustainable partnership.”