interview

‘Leading Self’

Meet Pierre-Olivier Landry, CHRO of CEVA Logistics
1/7/2020

PIERRE-OLIVIER LANDRY, LEADING SELF

Started 1st May 2019 as Chief Human Resources Officer of CEVA Logistics.

About me:

I joined CEVA on 1st May 2019 as CHRO. My academic background is in Law – I have a Master’s Degree in labour law. My first job was In-house Labour Lawyer at Peugeot, then I moved to multi-national recruitment firm Michael Page, ending up as Country Manager for Portugal and later Italy.

This was followed by HR Director positions in a variety of companies always with international reach. My first taste of logistics was with another major player as CHRO for its freight forwarding business, managing a workforce of 10,000.

Pierre-Olivier Landry

Why I chose CEVA:

There were four main reasons:

  • The scope of the work: in a highly international company which is a great “playground” for me because of the diversity of people, cultures, countries and languages.
  • Because CEVA is a true people business – everything depends on the people. This means HR has a very strategic role, and heavily impacts the success of the company.
  • Its parent CMA CGM is a family business – which is a lot different to the more typical blue-chip listed companies. In a family business what you do is seen and measured clearly every day.
  • CEVA was embarking on a transformation journey – change provides a greater challenge and is more exciting than just maintaining a business.
Harbor Container ship About international exports.

How I view leadership:

Leadership is about taking risks: if you are not willing to take risks you cannot be a good leader. It also requires a high level of energy; you need to engage and inspire people, otherwise it is difficult for others to follow. You need to care for others: to nurture their talent and not just live with what they have; I’m always looking to help people get the best out of themselves. Strong communications skillset is key. Lastly, it’s vital to set a clear strategy, and explain how everyone can contribute.

I am never afraid to hire people that are better than me, as they challenge me – and that is in my opinion the best way to progress.

PIERRE-OLIVIER LANDRY
CHRO of CEVA Logistics

Leading Self:

I think it’s important to really know yourself: so many people have a perception of themselves that is far away from how others see them. They don’t see their areas for improvement or potential.

When it comes to building on your strengths, you need to play with them, reinforce them and utilize them. As for development areas, you should be aware of them, so you can learn to mitigate them and improve them. You should also look for others who can support you, and do what you are less good at. I am never afraid to hire people that are better than me, as they challenge me – and that is the best way in my opinion to progress.

No hiding place:

Compared to many major public companies, where you can get away with not doing much because you are invisible, here at CEVA we are connected directly with customers, competitors and service partners; your activity is obvious and has a great impact. It’s not about putting together nice slides, but dealing with reality. You cannot hide behind others: you have to take responsibility for results. I make mistakes every day, but I’m not afraid: the worse thing is not to make a decision. When you make a mistake, you acknowledge it, learn from it and move on, avoiding making the same mistake again.

I’ll always remember:

My first Global HR conference, that we held in December 2019. We brought together the entire HR community for the first time in Marseille, and it was a great combination of CEVA past and CEVA future, along with CMA CGM. I think we laid the foundations for a real team spirit between all our global people; many of them had never met before. For me, this is where the HR journey started.

My ambition for CEVA:

I want everyone to be totally convinced that CEVA is a place where you can achieve your goals and learn twice as quickly as anywhere else. It is up to us as leaders of the business to promote ideas,  international mobility, coaching, mentoring, training and keep building on the back of our Employee Engagement Survey. These are our tools.

If everyone believes they can grow and learn in this company, we have the right starting point for CEVA. Every single employee must believe that CEVA boosts their career, so that they are proud to work for CEVA and the wider CMA CGM group.

CEVA Logistics

CEVA and talent:

CEVA offers opportunities quicker than competitors. Because of the pace of change, you get big opportunities due to the transformation we are undergoing. If you stay in the race, work hard and keep learning, you will certainly be offered that next country, next role, next opportunity.

As leaders, we are here to encourage our people to take their next steps, be ambitious and be bold with us. It is, again, about taking risks – giving people opportunities that make a difference to their career. We can truly make an impact.

Pierre Olivier Landry

How I would describe CEVA:

Through my HR eyes, I see an ocean of opportunities, a motorway to success, the sky is the limit. CEVA is the engine that provides the power for our journey. 

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