Yves Le Gelard

Cybersecurity as a Source of Business Value

According to former Engie CxO, Yves Le Gélard, cybersecurity has transformed from a purely technical concern into one of the focal points within the boardroom. Beyond discussions about prerequisites and constraints, he believes that a robust security policy can yield unexpected business value.

Yves Le Gélard spent three decades on the supplier side before taking on the role of CIO at the energy supplier Engie in 2015. A year later, he added the position of Chief Digital Officer (CDO) to his portfolio. In these roles, he oversaw a workforce of more than five thousand internal and external employees, catering to the needs of 150,000 staff. In 2022, after eight years of service, he bid farewell to Engie upon his retirement and is currently engaged as an independent consultant.

During his tenure at Engie, the French CxO executed a significant transformation, which included a broad migration to the cloud. Within the realm of cloud security, Zscaler was regarded as a key partner. He noted, “Since my appointment and the initiation of this transformation, cybersecurity has transitioned from being solely a technical matter to a boardroom conversation in which the CEO and CFO are also directly involved.”

According to him, this shift often results in communication challenges because the management, on one hand, and security experts, on the other hand, often speak different languages. Nevertheless, once all parties are aligned, he foresees substantial opportunities…

An illustrative example from Engie’s practice pertains to mergers and acquisitions. “Engie had a rich history of M&A activity before my tenure, typically marked by subpar integration of networks and systems. The transition to the cloud allowed us to make significant improvements in this regard. In terms of security, a collection of firewalls gave way to a state-of-the-art zero-trust architecture. Consequently, any new M&A endeavors can now be integrated in half the time.”

Yves Le Gélard is a graduate of HEC Paris and commenced his career in 1983 at IBM, where he held various technical and sales roles before serving as the Executive Assistant to the CEO of IBM France. In 1994, he joined Capgemini as the General Manager of the managed services division. His journey at Capgemini saw him rise to the position of Head of Global Sales in 2000 and General Manager for Outsourcing in 2003.

The former Engie CxO spearheaded Fujitsu’s European acquisitions program, ascending to the role of General Manager for Continental Europe, based in London. Subsequently, he assumed responsibility for the group’s global accounts in Tokyo. In 2009, he was appointed Executive Vice-President of Fujitsu America, based in New York, before joining SAP AG in 2012 to lead consulting and project endeavors in Europe.