Heidrick & Struggles Publishes Interview With Belgacom CEO
Rising competition in the European telecommunications industry is pressuring companies across the sector and forcing some players to question their business models in an effort to stay competitive and relevant to customers.
Belgacom, the majority state-owned telecommunications, IT, and media company operating in Belgium and international markets, was at such a crossroads, seeking ways to restore itself to profitability and regain lost market share.
In January 2014 the Belgian government appointed Dominique Leroy for a 6-year term as chief executive. She had joined Belgacom in 2012 as executive vice president of the company’s consumer business unit after a 24-year career at Unilever, most recently as managing director of Unilever Benelux. In her role as executive vice president she sponsored the culture-shaping process that was starting to take root at the upper levels of management when she took over as CEO.
As CEO, she continued to engage and embed the culture transformation more deeply into the company to help realize the goals of an ambitious strategic plan, dubbed “Fit for Growth.” At the heart of the plan was the commitment to invest in and transform the business to return to growth by 2016.
Getting there, however, would require a company culture transformation, as agility and a growth mindset were not part of the organization’s DNA. Indeed, only by focusing on collaboration, building greater accountability, and generating more openness and trust across the business (a “Good to Gold” culture) could Belgacom start to break down silos and create the “one company” mindset necessary to meet its strategic goals.
In this interview with Senn Delaney partner Ian Johnston, Belgacom CEO Dominique Leroy explores how the company is creating that Good to Gold culture and why it has been crucial in helping the company return to profitable growth even faster than envisioned. The following is an edited version of the interview.