Gérard Mestrallet

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Gérard Mestrallet
Born (1949-04-01) 1 April 1949 (age 75)
Alma materSciences Po Toulouse, École Polytechnique, École nationale de l'aviation civile, ÉNA
OccupationCEO of Engie (2008-2016)

Gérard Mestrallet (French pronunciation: [ʒeʁaʁ mɛstʁalɛ], born 1 April 1949 in Paris, France) is a French manager who served as chairman of the board of directors of Engie and as CEO from 2008 to 2016.[1] He is also the chairman of Suez.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Mestrallet received degrees from Sciences Po Toulouse, the École Polytechnique, École nationale de l'aviation civile and the École nationale d'administration.[3]


Career in government[edit]

After his studies, Mestrallet joined the Treasury. From September 1982 and July 1984 he was the technical advisor in charge of industrial affairs under the Minister of Economics and Finance (during the tenure of Jacques Delors)

Career in the energy sector[edit]

In 1984, Mestrallet started working as a special advisor for Suez.[4] He has been its Chairman and CEO since 2001. He was named Deputy Delegate General for Industrial Affairs in June 1986. In July 1987, he was General Director of the European Court of Human Rights, an affiliate of the Compagnie financière de Suez. In January 1991 he started as the Deputy Director General of the company, but a month later he became the Managing Director and Chairman of the Management Committee of the Société General de Belgique.

In 1995 Mestrallet took a position as the head of Suez and from then he worked for Suez while focusing on three businesses: energy, water, and waste[5] He fostered the reconciliation between Suez and the Lyonnaise des Eaux. The Suez-Lyonnaise des Eaux was started in 1997, at which time Mestrallet became the chairman of its executive board while Jérôme Monod, chairman of Lyonnaise, became the Chairman of the Supervisory Board.[4][5] However, the group soon went back to its original name, Suez and in 2003 its leaders made a proposition to shareholders to change the association of the company by becoming an LP with a board of directors and Gerard Mestrallet as the CEO.[4]

In July 2008, Mestrallet was appointed CEO of GDF Suez (later Engie). Upon merging Gaz de France and Suez to create a new European energy company, he spent about 4 billion euros ($5.6 billion) in a series of targeted acquisitions across the globe by late 2008. He also set a target for the group of investing 10 billion euros a year over the period from 2009 until 2011.[6]

In 2012, GDF Suez's board of directors extended the age limit for the group's chairman and chief executive to 67 from 65, a step that enabled Mestrallet to extend his tenure.[7]

On 3 May 2016, Mestrallet left his position due to statutory age limits[8] and instead became chairman of the board of directors of the group, with Isabelle Kocher appointed as CEO, as planned for months.[9]


In 2014, France's Autorité de la concurrence ordered GDF Suez to share a set of customer data with competitors while pursuing an investigation into alleged abuse of a dominant position by GDF Suez.[10]

Also in 2014, Mestrallet's retirement cap of 21 million euros was a controversy in the media due to GDF Suez's record losses for 2013 and its effort to prepare a savings plan.[11] In 2016, Engie announced that Mestrallet's 350,000 euro salary would go to the Engie Foundation charity and that he would carry out his role for free.[12]

Later career[edit]

In 2016, Mestrallet was appointed by Minister of Ecology Ségolène Royal to chair a three-member advisory committee to review European carbon pricing and make recommendations to the French government. Under his leadership, the committee recommended that France increase taxation on coal-fired power plants, or set stricter carbon emissions standards, to encourage a shift to gas-fired plants to reduce carbon emissions.[13]

In 2018, Mestrallet was appointed by President Emmanuel Macron as Executive Chairman of the French Agency for the Development of Al-ʿUla in Saudi Arabia, a French organization in charge of tourism and cultural development in the area in cooperation with the Saudi Kingdom.[14]

Other activities[edit]

Corporate boards[edit]

Non-profit organizations[edit]


Mestrallet reached 3,005,079 in remuneration in 2012 (down 2.7% from 2011). It was the tenth compensation from SBF 120 and the eighth from CAC 40.[25][26]

In May 2016, Engie announced that Gérard Mestrallet's 350,000 euro chairman salary will go to the Engie foundation charity and that he will carry out his new job for free.[27]


Mestrallet is Commander of the National Order of the Legion of Honour[28] and is a Knight of the National Order of Merit.

Personal life[edit]

Mestrallet is the son of Georges Mestrallet and Paule Mestrallet-Besnard. He has two brothers, Michael and Patrick Mestrallet. He married Joëlle Emillienne Renée Arcens in 1974 and has three children.[29]


  1. ^ "Engie press release" (PDF). Engie.com. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
  2. ^ "GDF board biography". Gdfsuez.com. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  3. ^ "List of Public Companies Worldwide, Letter - Businessweek - Businessweek". Investing.businessweek.com. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  4. ^ a b c "Gerard Mestrallet". Dirigeants Entreprise. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Gerard Mestrallet". Fondationface.org. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  6. ^ Paul Betts (11 September 2008), [Mestrallet steps on the gas at merged GDF-Suez] Financial Times.
  7. ^ Dominique Vidalon (17 February 2012), GDF to extend boss Mestrallet's mandate -report Reuters.
  8. ^ David Keohane (19 December 2018), Battle to replace Suez chief and chairman heats up Financial Times.
  9. ^ Isabelle Kocher to Head Engie, Inti Laundauro, Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 January 2016
  10. ^ Inti Landauro (9 September 2014), French Antitrust Watchdog Opens Investigation Into GDF Suez Wall Street Journal.
  11. ^ "Polémique autour de la retraite-chapeau du PDG de GDF Suez". Le Figaro. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  12. ^ Geert De Clercq (3 May 2016), Engie says Mestrallet's chairman salary will go to charity Reuters.
  13. ^ Bate Felix (11 July 2016), French carbon pricing committee proposes tax on coal-fired power Reuters.
  14. ^ Vincent Noce (10 May 2018), The blueprint for Saudi Arabia's multi-billion-euro project with France The Art Newspaper.
  15. ^ Company Management Saudi Electricity Company.
  16. ^ a b c Board of Directors: Gérard Mestrallet Société Générale.
  17. ^ External Advisory Council JP Morgan Chase.
  18. ^ 2017 Annual Report JPMorgan Chase.
  19. ^ Governance Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC).
  20. ^ Strategic Committee France China Foundation.
  21. ^ Strategic Committee Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA).
  22. ^ "Organisation de l'Institut | Institut de l'entreprise" (in French). Institut-entreprise.fr. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  23. ^ "Hong Kong". Info.gov.hk. 6 November 2003. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  24. ^ "FACE leadership". Fondationface.org. Archived from the original on 2 February 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  25. ^ Les salaires des patrons du SBF 120, Le journal du net, 25 juin 2013
  26. ^ Classement : les salaires des patrons du CAC 40, Challenges, 3 mai 2013
  27. ^ Engie says Mestrallet's chairman salary will go to charity, Reuters, 3 May? 2016
  28. ^ "Décret du 2 mai 2012 portant promotion et nomination" (in French). Legifrance. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  29. ^ "Gérard Mestrallet 1949— Biography - Education and early career, Suez begins a transformation, Purchases nalco". Referenceforbusiness.com. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
Business positions
Preceded by
CEO of Engie
Succeeded by