Clayton, Dubilier & Rice appoints operating adviser

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice has appointed Gilles Schnepp, former Chairman and CEO of Legrand SA (EPA:LR), as an Operating Advisor to CD&R funds.

 Under Schnepp’s leadership from 2006 through 2018, Legrand grew revenue from approximately EUR3.7 billion to EUR6 billion and net profit from EUR255 million to EUR772 million. During this period, Schnepp implemented a number of key growth and operational improvement initiatives, such as broadening Legrand’s product offering from primarily European markets to a broad global portfolio of electrical and digital infrastructure solutions, two-thirds of which ranked first or second in their markets in 2019.

Schnepp drove Legrand’s expansion into the US as well as into emerging markets, including China, Brazil, and India, as well as an acquisition strategy which added approximately USD2 billion in revenue. His reputation for operational excellence has resulted in board directorships at major European industrial enterprises, including Saint-Gobain (EPA:SGO), Peugeot (EPA:UG), and Sanofi (EPA:SAN).
“We are delighted to welcome Gilles to further expand our funds’ European industrial and services sector investment activities, as well as support our portfolio companies’ growth and operational improvement initiatives,” said CD&R Co-President, Dave Novak. “Gilles is a highly effective leader who brings more than 30 years of management leadership and value creation experience across multiple businesses serving a wide variety of global end markets.”
“We believe Gilles’ international profile, experience, and relationships will give CD&R funds increased access and insight across industrial and services businesses, particularly in France,” said CD&R Partner Christian Rochat. “We are excited to work closely with him to pursue opportunities and build portfolio company value in the important French market.”
“CD&R has a stellar reputation for building strong and sustainable businesses and acting as a constructive partner to family, founder and corporate owners,” says Schnepp. “I very much look forward to working with the exceptional team of investment and operating professionals and bringing my experience to help identify investment opportunities and create value in the companies in which the Firm’s funds invest.”
Schnepp began his career in finance at Merrill Lynch in 1983, transitioning from finance to industry in 1989 as Legrand’s Deputy Chief Financial Officer and later Chief Financial Officer. After serving in several senior management roles, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2004 and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 2006. Schnepp stepped down as CEO in 2018 and continued as Chairman of the Board until June of this year.
Schnepp is a Member of the Executive Committee of the employer association Medef and Chairman of the ESG Commission. He is a graduate from HEC, Paris, a recipient of The Order of Légion d'Honneur and was awarded the National Order of Merit in 2012.