Xavier Huillard, CEO of Vinci

Xavier Huillard is the CEO of the Vinci group since 2010. In 2016, the global giant of the CONSTRUCTION and concessions has made $ 38 billion in revenue for the $ 2.5 billion of net income, with more than 183 000 employees in a hundred countries.
Born June 27, 1954, Xavier Huillard is a graduate of polytechnique and engineer of Ponts et Chaussées training. After a brief stint in the public service, he has built the future Eiffage group in 1982. He straightens subsidiaries, and then acquires a certain degree of experience internationally, in particular within the Sogea (a subsidiary of the construction group of the Company’s Overall Business, then that is itself a subsidiary specialized in the CONSTRUCTION of the group Compagnie générale des eaux). A premonition of a time to take the reins of the Eiffage group, he joined Vinci at the turn of the millennium.


Professional career

– 2010 : President and ceo of the Vinci group.
– 2006 : managing director and Director of the Vinci group.
– 2000 : President of Vinci Construction.
– 1998 : deputy Director general of the international, and chairman of Sogea.
– 1993 : President and ceo of SAE.
– 1982 : entered the group Fougerolle, future component of the group Eiffage.
– 1979 : in Charge of the arrondissement of Saint-Lô at the departmental Management of the Equipment of the Channel.


The major projects of his career

Good blood cannot lie. One of his ancestors was an architect of the city of Paris in the mid-Nineteenth century and his father headed the construction of basilica of Yamoussoukro, in Ivory Coast, designed on the model of St. Peter’s in Rome.


For all that, before being in turn a builder, Xavier Huillard began its route in the private restructuring of a subsidiary of Fougerolle, crash during Molinari, in Burgundy, and a little later another subsidiary in the United States, where he stays for two years. Member of service rewarded in 1993 : appointed president and CEO of the SAE, the strong man of the BTP is also becoming a specialist in the construction… groups. This is the time of the merger of the CAS (which had absorbed the Eiffel Construction in 1990) with Fougerolle, which gives birth to Eiffage in the same year. In 1998, Xavier Huillard takes the reins of the Sogea and observers agree to see him as the future no. 1 of Eiffage whose CEO Jean-François Roverato considers him to be her foal. But to everyone’s surprise, Xavier Huillard eventually slam the door and joins the competitor, Vinci. “I was tired, he needed oxygen” will explain later Jean-François Roverato to Capital, in 2010.


Initially in charge of Vinci Construction Xavier Huillard accesses, as of 2006, the board of directors of the group of which he became general manager. That same year, it is he who is the source of the fall, precipitated by Antoine Zacharias, complaining in a letter the fees are disproportionate to the big boss of Vinci. He manages, however, to reconnect the links between the pro-and anti-Zacharias in the board of directors and in 2010, Xavier Huillard is powered CEO.


Meanwhile, the man in the building was able to demonstrate its know-how in the new business of the group : the concession. The slogan of Vinci is well now to insist on this dual mission : “Our mission is to design, finance, build and manage infrastructure and facilities that contribute to the improvement of the daily life…” Roads and motorways, airports, car parks or railways : Vinci builds and then manages. Xavier Huillard found (a little) then its philosophy of a servant of the State (it started as a civil servant in Normandy). “At Vinci, we define ourselves as a private company of public interest. Because the administration does not have the monopoly of the public interest ! She must be able to develop regulatory frameworks to ensure that the partner, whether private or parastatal, carries out the mission in a manner consistent with the collective interest. The typical case, this are the motorways : Vinci takes on missions of public service with a framework of regulation that are very accurate and the performance indicators that we must follow”, he explains to the public Actors in 2015.


The heir of builders, which operates one of the world leaders in the sector has kept its taste for work well done. If the news forces him sometimes to defend the honor of Vinci (the accused a time to close eyes on the working conditions of workers in its subsidiaries in the Persian Gulf), it offers small moments of happiness. In January 2017, it is the site of the renovation of the Old abbey of Penthemont, in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, which he chooses as the setting for the ceremony of the vows of Vinci, or one of the
its subsidiaries, then, is at work.


On the other hand, such a position also leads to making decisions that go beyond the mere economic interest. Xavier Huillard has also ensured that Vinci does not seek to erect a wall between Mexico and the USA. Other sites less dangerous (on the diplomatic level) mark the calendar. Beginning 2017, Vinci has “delivered” the fishing port of Casablanca , laid the first stone of the su headquarters of Saint-Gobain and initiated the second phase of renovation of the stadium Roland-Garros…
And the result ? “Our strategic priority is to continue our international development , “concludes Xavier Huillard. Operator in the world, Vinci sees far away and everywhere.



– 1977 : Graduate of the École Polytechnique (class of 1973). A graduate of the École nationale des Ponts et Chaussées.

Leave a Reply