In terms of Innovation, our Foundation members are among the most active, the most imaginative, and the most representational personalities in their respective trades.
They are players recognized for their strong personal involvement and embody our commitment to work for the harmonious development of Innovation.
Leading figures of Innovative Communications©, they inspire and light the way as pathfinders.
We are delighted to announce that Anne Méaux has accepted to lead the Napoleons founding board.
Anne is highly acknowledged in the French communications business and the founder of the agency Image Sept, created in 1988. Her independent agency is considered a powerhouse and hosts more than seventy employees.
Image Sept’s areas of competence are strategic and operational assessments in communication and institutional relationships. The agency intervene in a large amount of fields such as media, economy, finance, society and politics – topics with a great impact on business and corporation strategy.
The Napoleons thanks Anne Méaux for accepting the lead role and for sharing her valuable experience. Her support to the innovation movement, helping France to move further, in a faster pace, is greatly appreciated.
Co-founder and Managing Director of TomTom Consumer
Best known as one of TomTom’s founders, Corinne Vigreux combines an instinctive understanding of technology with a flair for innovation. She is currently Managing Director of TomTom’s Consumer Business Unit.
Running through all her professional activities is a belief in the power of technology to enable products that help real people in the real world. She is passionate about democratising technology and making it more accessible, more usable, and more affordable to all. This approach led to the TomTom Go, which single-handedly created the satnav category for consumers and empowered millions of drivers worldwide. Other examples include numerous subsequent TomTom satnav products, fitness watches and the new action camera.
Her career started at Psion in 1987 where she built Psion’s international distribution network. Psion was one of the first highly successful European technology start-ups where she gained her love for tech and her passion for adventure.
Together with Peter-Frans Pauwels, Pieter Geelen, Harold Goddijn she set up Palmtop software in 1992, which was to become TomTom. Assuming responsibility for branding, marketing and sales she oversaw the change from a B2B software publisher company to a B2C organization making products used by millions around the world.
Beyond her role at TomTom, Corinne Vigreux would love to see more disruptive technologies emerging from entrepreneurial companies in Europe. She also devotes time to promoting social mobility through education and she believes that corporate life would benefit from more women in senior and leadership positions.
Corinne Vigreux is on the advisory board of the Sutton Trust, she chairs the Sofronie Foundation, and is co-chair of the Dutch Chapter of Women Corporate Directors. She is also on the board of the Dutch National Opera & Ballet, and the president of the CCEF (Conseiller du Commerce extérieur de la France).
Former Minister of Culture and Communication
Jean-Jacques Aillagon was born on 2 October 1946 in Metz. He studied in Toulouse and Nanterre, where he specialised in Art History. From 1973 to 1976 he taught in Corrèze, at Egletons, and then at Tulles. Impassioned by art, he left teaching to take up executive posts in museums and public cultural establishments. He was notably Assistant Director of the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in 1981, administrator of the National Museum of Modern Art at the Georges Pompidou center in 1982, director of Cultural Affaires of Paris in 1992, and Chairman of the Georges Pompidou National Centre of Art and Culture from 1996 to 2002.
In May 2002, he became a cabinet member of the first government of Jean-Pierre Raffarin as Minister of Culture and Communication. His most noted acts as Minister were the passage of the “Aillagon Law” advancing patronage in French cultural establishments, and the establishment of satellite branches of Parisian museums in Metz and in Lens.
In 2004, after the right’s defeat in the regional elections, he was succeeded by Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres during the ministerial reshuffling, and became an advisor to François Pinault, president of Artemis. In April 2005 he was elected CEO of the largest French global television network, TV5Monde.
From June 2007 to September 2011, he occupied the presidency of the public establishment of the château, museum and national domaine of Versailles, and in 2013 that of its Arts décoratifs.
Jean Jacques Aillagon is an officer of the Legion d’Honneur and of the Order of Merit, so as Commander of the Palmes Académiques and of Arts and Letters.
CEO & President of Lagardère Entertainment
Beginning in high school, Takis Candilis had already embarked on an exploration of the world of photography. With a passion for cinema, he launched into screenwriting and directing documentaries. His early works of fiction, selected by many festivals and won awards, led him into the business of production. In 1988, he founded TARA PRODUCTIONS (Groupe Le Sabre). In 1990, he became CEO of CAMERAS CONTINENTALES. From there, he managed Fiction for ELLIPSE (a CANAL+ Group) in 1994 and became CEO of HAMSTER PRODUCTIONS (AB Group) in 1995. In 1999, Etienne Mougeotte asked him to join TF1 as Director of Fiction, and then appointed him Director of Programs in 2006.
In 2008, he joined the Lagardère Group, where he holds the position of CEO and President (September 2010) of Lagardère Entertainment which combines the activities of production and audiovisual distribution for Lagardère Active.
Photo credits: © associé William Parra
Born in 1951, Xavier Couture joined the Orange group in May 2008, as Director of content then as the Executive Director of Brand & Communications. Since June 2013, he is Advisor to the CEO, in charge of various projects including Hello!, the annual event dedicated to the Group’s Innovation.
Xavier Couture began his career in the Press industry, collaborating with L’Equipe newspaper from 1975 to 1980. As a publisher he launched the daily newspaper Le Sport in 1987. In 1994, he moved to the broadcast and television field at TF1, to head of programming . From 2002 to Feb 2003 he was Chairman of Canal + group. After that he held several operational functions in the Endemol group.
Xavier Couture has published two novels “Coma” ( Grasset) and “Et pourtant j’étais mort” (Le Masque), a booklet for the concerto for solo and Orchestra of “Sénèque dernier jour” (composed by Eric Tanguy and performed by Michel Blanc), and also an essay on television “La dictature de l’émotion” (Audibert).
Chairman, TBWA / Worldwide
A graduate of HEC Business School, Jean-Marie Dru began his career in 1971 with Dupuy Compton (now Saatchi & Saatchi) and quickly rose to the position of Executive Creative Director.
In 1977, he joined Young & Rubicam in Paris as Managing Director, before becoming the agency’s Chief Executive Officer in 1979.
In 1984, he co-founded the BDDP Group. Within seven years, BDDP established its international presence in 26 countries and was ranked 15th amongst global agencies. After the merger of BDDP with TBWA in 1998, Jean-Marie Dru became President International of TBWAWorldwide. In early 2001, he was appointed President and CEO Worldwide, a position that he held until January 2008, when he moved to his current role of Chairman.
Jean-Marie Dru has published five books on advertising and marketing; “Jet Lag” (PowerHouse Books, 2012), “How Disruption Brought Order” (Palgrave, 2007), “Beyond Disruption” (John Wiley & Sons Inc, 2002), “Disruption” (John Wiley & Sons Inc, 1996) and “Le Saut Créatif” (Lattès, 1984).
Jean-Marie Dru has been President of the Cannes Advertising Film Festival Jury twice – first in 1982 and again in 1998. He is a professor at the Paris Institute of Political Studies, officially referred to as Sciences Po Paris. He is also the President of the French Academy of Medicine Foundation.
In 2008, Jean-Marie Dru was awarded the French Légion d’Honneur for his long-lasting contribution to the advertising industry and to the business world.
Photo credits: © E. Legouhy
Marie-Laure Sauty de Chalon
CEO of auFeminin.com
A graduate of IEP Paris and holding a Masters of Public Law from the University of Paris II, Marie- Laure Sauty de Chalon began her career in 1985 as the advertising manager of economic supplements for, first, the “Nouvel Observateur”, then for “Liberation” and “Régie Presse” (print-press advertising arm of the Publicis Group). In 1988 she moved to General Media (handing advertising for Nouvel Observateur, VSD, Current, Challenges, La Tribune … ) as advertising director for “The Tribune” and “L’Expansion”, before being appointed, in 1990, to the Board as Director General. In 1993 she became a member of the France Television Advertising’s management board, and eventually its Deputy General Director.
It was in 1997 that she joined the Carat Group to become the General Director of Carat Prospective and Carat Interactive. She was appointed, in February 2000, Deputy Managing Director and became a member of the Carat’s executive committee. In 2002, she moved to New York to become the CEO of “Consodata North America”. In 2003 she became President of the “Grande Régie” board, which consolidates advertising for Le Monde, Publicat and the Nouvel Observateur. In 2006, she became President of Aegis Media for Southern Europe.
Since June 2010, Marie Laure heads, as CEO, the auFeminin.com group. She is a member of the French government’s Competition Authority as well as of the Board of Directors of LVMH.
Founder and CEO of Parrot
A self-taught and unique entrepreneur, Henri Seydoux has a flair for innovation. He personally designs most of his products, and personally supervises all the projects as well as the 400 engineers that make up the Parrot R&D department.
Henri Seydoux’s career began in 1978, working as a journalist for the avant-garde “underground” French magazine, “Current”. At the age of 19, during an interview with Roland Moreno, the inventor of the smart card, he realized what he wanted to do in life. He immediately gave up journalism and entered the world of programming.
After working in various start-ups and being involved in the creation of a company specializing in 3D imaging, Henri Seydoux founded Parrot in 1994, and within three years designed the first personal digital assistant (PDA) with integrated voice recognition. Technologically, it was a milestone, but being ahead of its time did not achieve commercial success.
But with Parrot’s technological expertise in signal processing now proven and in hand, soon was given birth the first Bluetooth wireless car phone in 2001. It was an immediate success which rapidly expanded to international markets.
Parrot now offers the most extensive range of in-car, hands-free communication systems and infotainment, and is the partner of choice and provides complete hardware and software solutions to major automotive manufacturers around the world.
Reinventing, renovating, improving
With his expertise in wireless technologies, since 2008 and in partnership with prestigious designers, Henri Seydoux has developed a wide range of multimedia products.
The most emblematic are Parrot’s Zikmu wireless speakers and Zik tactile wireless headphones, both of which were designed by Philippe Starck.
“At Parrot, we aren’t inventing anything but ‘evolving’ what already exists. Bluetooth permitted the reinvention of the car phone, the same way the iPod reinvented the Walkman,” explained Henri Seydoux, CEO of Parrot.
From toy drones to professional civilian drones
The coming of Wi-Fi and the ongoing development of technologies has opened new horizons for Parrot.
Introduced in 2010, the Parrot AR.Drone is a quadricopter UAV piloted by Smartphone Wifi. It flies and hovers like a dragonfly. An onboard HD video camera transmits real-time images back to the Smartphone and can record videos. A true technological achievement, more than 600,000 copies were sold in just the first few years!
Simultaneously Henri Seydoux investigated the professional and civilian applications of UAVs and, with continuing development in mind, acquired senseFly, an application-oriented drone manufacturer spun off from the EPFL (Lausanne Federal Polytechnical School) Intelligence Laboratory.
Research and innovation
Parrot has worked for 20 years on wireless technologies. Engineering has always been the cornerstone of that work and the company has always sought to maintain a high level of investment in R&D with a main focus on software and signal processing.
Parrot develops complete-function products by taking full account of and care for their end-use. For this the software, electronics, design, as well as the manufacturing cost, conjointly make up the core preoccupations of the engineering department.
“At Parrot, the foundation of our thinking when it comes to designing a new product, is based on the same requirements,” continued Henri Seydoux. “The product must work by way of mobile phones, be designed for general public use, is technically sophisticated, and offers a multitude of signal processing functions.”
Henri Seydoux is an entrepreneur, and Parrot a vast R&D engineering department continually exploring new Smartphone-based opportunities.
2014 marks 20 years of innovative technology for Parrot, with no intention of stopping…