To be continued in 2024 | Catherine MacGregor, the desire to have Engie – Forbes France

She was part of the 2023 Forbes list of women. LEngie’s general manager took office amid the Russian gas crisis and saw it thrust into the limelight. Today, she is the boss tasked with developing renewable energy and gas infrastructure.

At the time of her appointment as head of Engie, Catherine MacGregor’s leadership was not obvious. In October 2020, the new CEO was plagued by two handicaps. First of all, she is unknown to the Parisian microcosm, almost her entire career has taken place abroad. After that, this mother of two daughters has so far only worked in oil service groups. It is not the best profile to meet the challenge of the energy transition. At Engie, he will follow the same operating procedure and consult more than a hundred managers internally and externally. Her mission is clear. She must develop renewable energy and gas infrastructure in accordance with the plan set by the board before her arrival. He must also work in good harmony with the chairman of the board Jean-Pierre Clamadieu.

The war also gave an impetus to the businesswoman, the rare head of CAC 40. A few days after the invasion of Ukraine, on February 24, 2022, Catherine MacGregor warned public authorities about the need to anticipate whether Europe would ever decide to embargo Russian gas. In a complicated context, the entrepreneur recorded record results against all expectations.

With Macron in Algeria

He and his teams manage the possibility of no longer being able to deliver to their customers and the risk of financial exposure due to skyrocketing gas prices. Catherine MacGregor accompanies Emmanuel Macron in August in Algeria and will conclude a contract for the supply of liquefied natural gas with the local supplier Sonatrach. At the same time, other similar agreements were signed with the United States and Norway. Purchases that not only make it possible to secure stocks by filling stocks at 100%, but also sell hydrocarbons at high prices to other countries. Finally, Europe did not run out of gas during the winter, thanks to rising energy prices and windfall profits trading, Engie made an impressive 30% of its operating profit last year, while its German rival Uniper, more exposed to Russian gas, went bust. “The group handled this crisis very well,” assures Catherine MacGregor. As the executive head of Engie, she implements the strategy defined by the board chaired by Jean-Pierre Clamadieu. Specifically, it negotiated the sale of Equans to Bouygues with the buyer’s promise to retain employment for five years. It reorganized the organizational chart, but failed to close the last two Belgian nuclear power plants, the lifetime of which was extended to 2035 by the decision of the Belgian government. However, it maintains the goal of developing renewable energies, the share of which in ENGIE’s production should increase to 58% in 2030.

Parents of math teachers

Born Catherine Fiamma, the CEO of Engie was born in Morocco 51 years ago. His parents, math teachers, instilled in him the values ​​of rigor, hard work and independence. She studied at Lyautey High School in Casablanca until she was 14, when her mother decided to move to Paris. At the time, the young French woman dreamed of working in the aviation sector before finally deciding on École Centrale. After her release, she joined the giant Schlumberger and quickly left to work on an oil rig in the Congo. There, in Pointe-Noire, Catherine MacGregor manages the drilling operations.

A few years later she went to work in Aberdeen, Scotland before flying to Houston, Texas and then Lafayette, Louisiana. At Schlumberger, he will occupy all positions with the exception of financial management. In mid-2010, oil prices collapsed and Schlumberger cut 16,000 jobs in the turmoil. In 2018, Catherine MacGregor slammed the door on oil services. Now is the time for a change and above all for a challenge, and joins the British energy company TechnipFMC, where her mission will be to lead the division of the energy division. The project, delayed due to Covid, will definitely put it in the crosshairs of headhunters recruiting for CAC 40. At the same time, Engie is preparing for a significant strategic change, the aim of which is to reorient the company to infrastructure, gas, renewable sources. and some energy services. So the CEO, Isabelle Kocher is at loggerheads with her board and is no longer part of the plans. His mandate is not renewed and the energy giant is looking for a new boss, which he will find in 2020 in the person of Catherine MacGregor.

Also read: Ursula von der Leyen, the most powerful woman in the world

Leave a Comment