High Wire Act

CEO of General Cable looks at the next 10 Years

08/02/2013

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In the latest Global Leadership Series, Emmanuel Sabonnadière, CEO and chairman of General Cable Europe and Mediterranean, led a session in Barcelona titled "One World of Opportunities. Some Major Topics for the Next 10 years."

He began by talking about his company and said General Cable believes Europe will continue to be a key market but because of the different tax regimes it is expensive to operate in the EU. He also believes solar power will play an increasing role in European energy supply. Company wants to develop in countries with a high birth rate and poor electrical infrastructure. In Spain the company has had to reinvent itself as an exporter having lost 90% of the market because of the crisis.

He believes that electric car use will grow fast in places with high population density and that the large amount of stored energy in electric cars parked at night will change the way electricity is distributed. "We know a lot about electricity, probably more than the Chinese, but we in Europe are not as good at reinventing ourselves as the Americans," Sabonnadière said.

"We focus heavily on safety, not just for our people, but because it is a good way of measuring good management," he said. The company goes for a "one company" approach globally while having a decentralized structure. Despite the wireless trend, he believes that cable industry will continue to grow. One field that is growing rapidly is wind turbines.

"As a manager you have to do your job and at the same time transform your company," he said, but a manger needs heart and courage as well as brains. As with mountaineering, he said the challenge "isn’t taking your team to the top but bringing them back safely."