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Governance: Benoît Potier addresses the Group Shareholders

Published on December 01, 2021

3 minutes

Benoît Potier

In the perspective of an evolution of the Group's governance, Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO of Air Liquide, addresses the company's Shareholders.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Shareholders,

You are all aware of the value we place on our shareholder relations and our wish to include you in each major stage of your Group’s development.

That is why I am writing to you today.

The Board of Directors has approved the principle of a succession plan for the Group’s top management and a new form of governance. This change occurs in the context of the renewal of my term of office as Board Director which will be submitted to you at our next General Meeting of shareholders. 

This new form of governance demonstrates a desire to combine continuity and renewal.

Accordingly, the Board will meet at the close of the General Meeting in order to renew my term of office as Chairman of the Board of Directors and to appoint François Jackow to succeed me as Chief Executive Officer with effect from June 1, 2022. In addition, a proposal will also be submitted to the General Meeting to appoint François Jackow as Board Director.

This development is the fruit of a long process and has been particularly well prepared. It has been the subject of very thorough work by the Appointments and Governance Committee under the supervision of Jean-Paul Agon, Lead Director.

A new chapter is, therefore, about to start for our Group and I would like to take this opportunity to share my confidence in the Group’s future and in this new governance structure.

First of all, a word about François Jackow. He is someone I know very well and greatly appreciate. We have worked together for many years. François Jackow who joined the Group in 1993 is a very experienced leader. He has extensive knowledge of the company, having held a wide range of responsibilities, at the highest level, over the course of a truly international career. He has in-depth knowledge of the business lines and teams, but also the values and culture and, in particular, the importance we place on our individual shareholders. Aside from his professional skills, he also stands out for his human qualities. He is unanimously valued and respected, and will notably be able to unite the teams around the implementation of our new corporate project to be announced in March 2022, and to share with everyone our underlying long-term strategic vision for a sustainable future.

For my part, I am looking forward to continuing to contribute to Air Liquide’s success, as Chairman. It is a role with which I am very familiar, having held it for around fifteen years.

Air Liquide has undergone substantial change over the last two decades. The Group has more than doubled in size, whilst its capitalization has increased fivefold. Over 100,000 shareholders have joined us, taking the total number of individual shareholders to 470,000. In terms of operations, your Group has become even more international and is firmly rooted in the modern world. We are today at the forefront of tomorrow’s markets. Whether in the fields of energy and climate transition (with hydrogen, in particular), healthcare, digital or high-tech, Air Liquide is one of the major international players both now and in the future.

I therefore look forward with confidence to this new chapter in the Group’s history.

We will discuss the planned change in governance in more detail at our General Meeting. I look forward to seeing you again at that time, with François Jackow at my side, in what we all hope will be a face-to-face format.

In the meantime, I would like to thank you for your confidence and fidelity. We are striving daily to be worthy of it. 

Benoît Potier

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