Sodexo SA's board of directors this week appointed chairwoman Sophie Bellon as its permanent chief executive, a position she has held on an interim basis since Oct. 1, following the resignation of Denis Machuel. Bellon is daughter of Sodexo founder Pierre Bellon, who died last month.
Paris-based Sodexo operates the second-largest foodservice operation in the United States. It is also expanding its U.S. vending and micro market operations.
In recent months, Sodexo's board launched a project to develop its benefits and rewards services, which would lead to providing it with a dedicated governance, while remaining controlled by Sodexo.
Established in Marseille in 1966, originally Sodexho, Sodexo today operates in 56 countries, serving about 100 million consumers a day through onsite services, It employs 416,000 people.
Sophie Bellon began her career in 1985 in finance and then in the fashion in the United States. In 1989, she became a member of Sodexo's board of directors and returned to Europe 1994 to officially join the company. As a finance project manager, she worked on the integration into Sodexo of Gardner Merchant in the United Kingdom and Marriott Management Services in the U.S., two strategic acquisitions that consolidated the company’s international assets and doubled its revenues.