When little Fina is sandwiched between Big Total and Big Elf ...
3 questions… on your feelings about the mergers TOTAL FINA & ELF…
What activity did you perform at the time of the merger and within which entity?
I am an old Fina. More specifically, I worked in the lubricant business of Fina FrancePays FranceShow more, in Rueil. When I joined the company in 1984, my colleagues told me that we would be taken over one day by Elf, who was also a shareholder in Fina. I learned the first radio merger on a Monday morning, December 2, 1998. I was driving towards Rueil, where I went to work. And there, surprise! Because we did not expect Total. As a Frenchman, I naturally saw this fusion of a better eye than most of my Belgian colleagues ...
The second merger was also a surprise, because it was not imagined that Total would also make a quick offer to Elf. The two entities were competing, with quite different corporate cultures, all of which did not seem obvious. Fina's elders were more observant, there were a few points, while the Elf and Total teams looked more front-end, but we see that after 20 years they are only old memories and that this mix was very beneficial.
What challenges did you anticipate that were easy to manage and, conversely, what were the unexpected difficulties that arose during the project?
Everything was well anticipated, including the construction of new teams, the distribution of sectors, etc. All this was done in flexibility and efficiency ... with rare exceptions! For my part, I ended up with a team to lead. So I went to see each member of my new team to get to know each other better and discuss the organization in particular. I suggested to everyone that we get together and each time, the answer was yes. Except for one person who told me that she wanted us to stick to the formalities and that she did not consider me her leader, since she came from Total and could not be ordered by a Fina. At first, it surprises! But things finally got better.
What is the most memorable memory you have of this period?
An anecdote came back to me ... Just after the announcement of the second merger with Elf, I was talking with my boss who told me: "Marc, in this merger, the little Fina is sandwiched between the big Total and the big Elf ... "I pointed out to him that in a sandwich" that's what's in the middle that makes it all the flavor! "
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