Guillaume Boutin (Proximus): "I feel adopted!"  - Companies

Guillaume Boutin (Proximus): “I feel adopted!” – Companies

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“It was a real culture shock, completely positive. There is much more wealth and asperities in Belgium than what we want to see from Paris. In the relationship with others, culture, the way of life… I experienced a real expatriation!”, explains Guillaume Boutin, head of Proximus for two years.

A headhunter, a phone call from Dominique Leroy (then CEO of Proximus) and here is the Frenchman Guillaume Boutin who arrived in Brussels in 2017, with the costume of chief consumer market officer for the Belgian operator. “At the time, I was in a moment of reflection on the follow-up to be given to my career, says the one who is then marketing director of the Canal + group in Paris. I wanted to expatriate, to discover new horizons with my fa…

A headhunter, a phone call from Dominique Leroy (then CEO of Proximus) and here is the Frenchman Guillaume Boutin who arrived in Brussels in 2017, with the costume of chief consumer market officer for the Belgian operator. “At the time, I was in a moment of reflection on the follow-up to be given to my career, says the one who is then marketing director of the Canal + group in Paris. I wanted to expatriate, to discover new horizons with my family. So this professional opportunity came at the right time.” Of the flat country, Guillaume Boutin does not know much when he crosses the Franco-Belgian border: a few memories of a young tourist and “an image very far from the reality that I have lived on a daily basis for five years”, confides it today. “It was a real culture shock, completely positive. There is much more wealth and asperities in Belgium than what we want to see from Paris. In the relationship with others, culture, the way of life… I experienced a real expatriation!” Professionally, however, Guillaume Boutin arrived in Brussels with a slight handicap, especially when he took over the reins of Proximus three years later: he did not speak Dutch in a company whose majority shareholder was still the State. Belgian. “All official communications are in French and Dutch, but the working language is English in meetings and management committees, tempers the CEO. However, I wanted to learn Dutch. I have a lot of trouble to speak it but I understand it. It is the necessary effort that allows you to integrate and show respect for your host country. Today, I feel more than integrated, I feel adopted !” Pleasantly surprised by the “can do spirit” – this ability to want to get there together – of his Belgian collaborators, Guillaume Boutin is just as seduced by the quality of life in Brussels “out of all proportion to that which can be offered in Paris. , especially when you have children. An element that he will certainly take into consideration if, by chance, a headhunter were to offer him a new challenge…

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