In 1964, the group’s parent company, Up (ex-Chèque Déjeuner), was established as a Cooperative (Cooperative and participatory company), a legal form which implies that “cooperators” are involved in every decision made by the company, at every strategic step. The governance of the group is based on three pillars: all employees/members, the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee.
Employees and members
The principle of "one person = one vote" is applied at each stage of development the Up group holding. Awakened throughout the year in the choice of the cooperative through the minutes of the Board of Directors every two months, the employees participate annually in a General Assembly to vote the strategic direction of the group.
All subsidiaries are outside the Social Economy model. But according to its corporate culture, Up group wants to strengthen its cooperative model involving a greater number of employees in the capital and developing the principle of participatory democracy.
Board of Directors
Every four years, the members of the Board of Directors are elected by all employees-members. There are nine to fifteen members, they all come from the cooperative, and from different departments (IT, manufacturing, legal, sales ...). Their mission is to determine the strategic guidelines for the group and ensure their implementation.
The main French trade unions (CGT, FO, CFDT) have always been present, ever since the group was created, and are represented by an outside Director who sits on the Board.
Three elected officials of the Works Council also sit on the Board.
All the Directors are called upon to elect the Chairman of Up group every 4 years.
In 50 years, Up group has had only three CEOs: founder George Rino, 1964-1991, Jacques Landriot from 1991 to 2014 and Catherine Coupet since 2014.
The Executive Committee assists the CEO, Catherine Coupet, and meets once a month. Its purview extends to all matters relating to the management of the group and its subsidiaries. Its role is to decide on investments, track the group’s performance and results, to govern by participating in the definition of strategies and defending the interests of the group.
This cooperative model is a guarantee of robustness and stability, and ensures the long-term relevance of the decisions, while empowering each employee with respect to the collective success of the company. This organization promotes job sustainability, resources sustainability, the durability of assets and the strength of the company.
Head of Public Affairs and Research, is also a member of the Board of Directors
"The dual role of employee and associate/member means to be both a "worker" (the person who implements) and a “boss” (the person who leads).
Reconciling the interests of both parties may seem complex, but is made quite fluid by our organization and our culture. The reason is that the status of employee/member enables us to apply good 360° management practices. These management practices pave the way for an exchange that is fair in terms of wage-earning and egalitarian in terms of membership.
The commitment and involvement of every individual in these exchanges, and this constant dialog, form the basis of participatory democracy in the company. A democracy, the sovereign expression of which takes place every year at the General Assembly.
Representative democracy sets the group’s strategic guidelines, oversees their implementation and manages the commissions that deal with key structural issues.
Furthermore, the members of the Board of Directors are employees who have a direct interest in the sustainability of the common working tool, namely the company, and not shareholders interested only in generating profit from work done by others.
Lastly, in addition to representatives of members, there are representatives of the Works Council who come from the trade-unions, and representatives of three national trade-union confederations.
As for the Executive Committee, it connects the employees and the associates. It implements the strategic guidelines as per decisions made by the Board of Directors, and ensures the dissemination of a form of management that is consistent with the values of the group, at every level and in all countries."
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