The students of Montpellier Business School are happy to welcome Christian Streiff, Vice-President of the SAFRAN board

A lecture hall that’s bursting at the seams welcomes Mr Christian Streiff, a CAC 40 Director. Finishing top of his class at school in Mines, he became the General Director of Saint Gobain in 2004 following 25 years of service at the company. He then became Executive Chairman of Airbus (EADS group) in 2005, and then President of Peugeot Citroen until 2009. This “young” 56 year-old man shares his experiences with simplicity, humility and a lot of humour.

At this point, he is an administrator for groups such as ThyssenKrupp, Crédit Agricole, TI Automotive and Bridgepoint, the Vice-President of the SAFRAN board, and author of the book “J’étais un home pressé.” He shares his vision as an international entrepreneurial manager after a stroke that changed everything and required him to learn French again.

Throughout his hour-long conference, through the telling of his tale, he offers a lot of important advice for the attentive room. “Stay with a business for a while to see how it evolves and how it makes its decisions; don’t be afraid to get stuck in, get into the field, in France as well as abroad! Learn something new every year; be courageous and never lie! Learn, be lively, and be helpful.”

Christian Streiff also reminds the group “there is a moment when working more doesn’t help you anymore” and that you need to take time to remind yourself of what you want in life. It’s a good lesson for sandwich-course students who have a frantic work schedule, combining high professional and academic levels.

When questioned on what power is, he replied “it’s responsibility”… and then he questioned students on the managerial methods of their bosses in contrast to their three preferred management authors: Machiavel, Kipling and Sun Tzu. Just whispers in the room…

He concluded by saying, “Stay European because it’s an incredible strength!”

Thank you Mr Streiff!