Like Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings, we saw two faces in Vincent Bolloré: half-seducer, half-carnivore, half-raider, half-captain of industry, half-passionate, half-cold calculator. The personality of the Breton businessman, who will celebrate his 70th birthday on April 1, 2022, is embodied in his two successors, two of his sons, at the head of the group with a turnover of 24 billion euros. . On the one hand, Cyrille, 36, is secretive and keen on finances. On the other hand, Yannick, 42, is outgoing, creative and quick to take up challenges.
It was to interest the latter in the family business that the father turned to communication and the media: the creation of the Direct 8 channel in March 2005 then, in June, the takeover of the Havas agency, in end of a Homeric battle. The sale of Direct 8 to Canal + allows the Bolloré group, in 2012, to put a foot in the capital of Vivendi (1.7%) then to take control (29% today).
“Vincent chose Cyril”
It was also Yannick who was the first to take on responsibilities: after taking his first steps at Havas, where he was passionate about advertising and defending budgets, he became CEO in August 2013. In April 2018, he also took over the non-executive chairman of Vivendi. However, it is to Cyrille that the patriarch transmits, in March 2019, the baton of marshal. The youngest, who studied in the group’s Energy division, then in the Transport and Logistics division, settled into the father’s chair at the Puteaux tower, with the title of CEO of the Bolloré group, the entity that manages all holdings… including Vivendi and Havas.
“For a long time, Vincent chose Cyrille to succeed him because he is the one who most resembles him, explains an adviser. Like his father, he is discreet and he studies his files thoroughly before moving. A familiar Bolloré abounds: “Like Vincent, Cyrille is not concerned with media fame. He grew up in the core business of the group, Africa and batteries. He imposed himself by dint of hard work, without waves and without storms”.
Yannick is the exact opposite: more impulsive and not reluctant to meet journalists. He is also more independent of the patriarch, whom he opposed when he was young when he separated from his mother. He also made the choice to marry in 2006 a niece of Martin Bouygues, who keeps a strong enmity towards his father since the failed raid on his group. In front of the press, he could not help taking some distance from the harsh management of the strike at I-Télé.
The two brothers, however, have an identical background: Saint-Jean de Passy high school, Paris-Dauphine University and a first professional experience abroad. For Cyrille, it will be trading in New York, and for Yannick, the production of a few films (including “Hell” and “Yves Saint Laurent”). “Everything opposes them, moreover they do not speak to each other directly, everything goes through their father”, advances a close friend of the family. “Absolutely false,” replied a spokesperson for the group. They see each other all the time. Vincent has established regular meetings and each at his house near his own, whether in Paris, Rambouillet or Saint-Tropez. »
Everything to create unity
The only certainty: nothing will change as long as the father remains in the presidency of the Compagnie de l’Odet, the control tower which holds the mandates. And he remains in the front line concerning the sale of logistics in Africa, the takeover of Lagardère, the future of Telecom Italia Mobile and Prisa. But after ? Vincent Bolloré is not unaware that, even united around a common objective, siblings can become disunited. His own brother Yves-Michel, with whom he had taken over the family paper mills in 1981, disagreed with his hussard-like strategy. He had to resolve to leave the ship in 1990.
“Yannick, who is not lacking in ambition, is already complaining about running a simple business unit of the Bolloré group, observes a manager. What will happen when Cyrille refuses to validate an operation on Havas or Vivendi? The eldest brother could contest the presidency or demand the separation of the group, already large enough, into two autonomous entities.
“Vincent does not seek to minimize the risk of conflict: he has done everything to create unity”, judges a close adviser. This is where the two other members of the siblings can come into play: Sébastien, withdrawn in the United States, and Marie, who manages Blue Systems, a subsidiary of IT mobility management. “They are each holders in bare ownership of 25% of the family capital, recalls the same source. The day there will be a conflict, their role will be to decide between the two leaders. And to avoid a split.
February 1, 1980
Birth in Paris
Graduated from Paris IX Dauphine University
August 30, 2013
Chairman and CEO of Havas
April 19, 2018
Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Vivendi on April 19, 2018
July 19, 1985
Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine (92)
Graduated from Paris IX Dauphine University
March 14, 2019
Chairman and CEO of Bolloré on March 14, 2019
letelegramme Fr Trans