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It all starts tomorrow

Developing business, managing change, innovating, sharing. Thomas never stops.

After three years as Deputy CEO of ENGIE Cofely for the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur (PACA) region, Thomas recently took over as the head of the Ile-de-France region (the Paris region). His role entails a strong managerial and commercial dimension: he develops the activity, initiates new business, supervises commercial negotiations, leads corporate change initiatives and directs high-stake dossiers and projects. With responsibility for compliance with best practice throughout the region he directs, he also chairs the Health, Safety and Working Conditions Committee. He’s a true leader, who works closely each day alongside the company’s 1,300 employees, always seeking to improve performance and profitability, motivation and well-being at work. In the PACA region, he managed to increase the profitability of local agencies in a sluggish economic environment. Major projects worth more than €300 million were signed.

But nothing predestined Thomas to play such a role! When he was a student at the prestigious École Polytechnique, true enough, he had chosen an option in Development Economics alongside his studies in Particle Physics. But when he enrolled at IFP (the Institut Français du Pétrole), he was on a path leading to Reserves, Drilling and Processing. Thomas sums up what has happened since. “I’ve had three completely different occupations: I’ve been a reservoir engineer responsible for carrying out technical and economic studies of gas fields and subterranean reservoirs, a project manager in IT and a profit centre manager in energy services. I’ve worked in practically every aspect of the world of energy, from upstream to downstream: exploration and production; gas transport and storage; and energy services, both for private customers (B2C) and for professionals (B2B).”

Managing change

Thomas has to demonstrate a strong ability to mobilize and inspire his teams and to maintain good customer relations. In his position, he has to take decisions very quickly and direct the company’s operations in a changing and uncertain environment. In these conditions, one of the most important things he has to manage is without doubt his own level of stress. Thomas has his secret methods for doing this. “I devote myself to my hobbies! I travel a lot, and I’m always looking out for all forms of novelties that give me something to think about, because I have an inquisitive mind. I keep up-to-date with new technologies. I make sure I’m in contact with nature on a daily basis and enjoy a range of outdoor activities, including mountain biking, hiking, mountaineering, via ferrata climbing, spearfishing and sea swimming.” Thomas is also a big reader, particularly American nature writers and thrillers. He monitors= scientific news closely, with a particular interest in quantum physics and the universe.

Pride in his work

Through a very comprehensive offer of energy services, ENGIE Cofely’s positioning is to propose projects to its customers that enable them to reduce their environmental footprint and improve their economic performance. This high added-value activity, useful for the environment as well as for people’s budgets, is very motivating internally. “We work on energy efficiency and renewable energy offers that make us proud of what we’re doing, and which we’re proud to explain to our children.” To take one example, Thomas and his teams built the first marine geothermal power plant in Marseille. It will provide heating and air-conditioning for 500,000 m² of buildings using renewable energy from the sea. They are also going to set up a “green steam” network, recovering waste heat from an incinerator to provide energy for a soup factory, a system that will make it possible to stop using fossil energy and generating CO2. These successes are the result of teamwork. “Bringing together energies and skills has meant that we’ve been able to go further and faster. The richness of the solutions that have been found, some of which we’d have missed if we’d been working alone. And the satisfaction of being able to share in a team win when a project is finalized.”

Innovating and sharing

Ask Thomas what he would like his fourth occupation to be, and he replies without hesitation: “I would love to run the ENGIE investment fund so that I could invest in promising start-ups.” In no doubt that innovation will be the key to successful energy transition, he is also quite sure that to accelerate the movement, you have to bring all available forces together.

Are you a match with Thomas?