Christophe Sabas is the new CEO at Lindéngruppen company Beckers Group after being acting CEO since June 2020. He tells us about his long career at Beckers, his insights as CEO to date and his future vision for the company.
Thank you for speaking with us Christophe. Please tell us about your career at Beckers over the last two decades.
I had the pleasure of becoming acting CEO in June, which means that until November I was also still the President of Coil Coatings in Europe, Africa and the Americas – a role I had since 2015. Before that I was President of Europe and Africa for Beckers Group and I have previously been the Managing Director of our French subsidiary. I joined Beckers back in 1999 as a Sales Manager for our Industrial Coatings business, so it’s been quite a journey.
What are your main insights to date from your time as acting CEO?
My first insight was to prioritise our employees by putting safety first during the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic. We have been in crisis management mode these past few months and I have had regular meetings with our Managing Directors to support our local businesses. I also recognise the importance of communicating and explaining our objectives, strategy and action during this challenging time. Another important insight is the importance of the strong support we get from our shareholder, Lindéngruppen, which I believe we are well aligned with in terms of our objectives.
Where do you think the coatings industry is heading and what are the main drivers?
Sustainability is a main driver that will help the long-term development of our company and the industry as a whole. Other drivers include education and access to talented employees. At Beckers we support universities to ensure we continue to have access to a pool of engineers and talented people to employ from.
How will Beckers become the world’s leading sustainable coatings company?
To succeed, we need to build on two of Beckers core strengths: world class innovation and close customer relations, as well as to recruit top talents in our field. We have defined our sustainability strategy around three pillars – People, Operations and Products. This has involved setting 2030 targets and milestones to guide us along the way.
We have engaged with our main stakeholders on our new strategy, including our employees, customers and suppliers, to get them all onboard. Going forward, the implementation is the crucial phase of course, along with measuring our progress – as well as celebrating our achievements. One thing is for sure, our new strategy will involve a significant change in the way we do things.
What will change now that you are CEO of Beckers?
Firstly, I am looking forward to putting an end to uncertainty in the business and to confidently starting a new chapter in our history. As CEO, I plan to deploy a long-term business strategy with a strong sustainability element to our business. I will also ensure we are aligned with the expectations of our employees, customers, suppliers, shareholder and the Board of Directors – making sure we all share the same clear goals is more important than ever in these uncertain times.
I am also looking forward to informing our customers of the improvements we are making at Beckers. My message to customers is that Beckers will continue to be a strong and reliable partner with a clear long-term vision to provide sustainable solutions that create value.