I attended a truly interesting breakfast presentation this morning with Virginie Calmels, the freshly minted (last september) Directrice Générale of Endemol France, the TV show producers of such TV shows as the French version of Big Brother: Loft Story, Star Academie, On ne peut pas plaire à tout le monde, Le Big Deal, Miss France, etc.
A federation of 22 SMEs, Endemol France generates 180m€ revenue, and contributing up to 30% EBITDA to the whole Endemol Group, a subsidiary of Telefonica (which, it is said, is ready to divest).
She expressed a number of very interesting strategic insights into ENDEMOLs business model, the companies current litigation issues with M6, how they compete (with Freemantle, Reservoir Productions, etc.), growth strategies (new media, interactive media, merchandising...).
The Q&A session afterwards was fun, challenging and informative, with - of course - questions of the vulgarity of reality shows and corporate social responsibility.
Another true fast tracker, at only 33, she has already graduated from 2 business schools (ESC Toulouse, INSEAD), is a chartered accountant, and has held CFO and Deputy GM positions at Canal+, start-ups, and now producers. A short CV/interview in French is here.
Expect her to choose her next career move wisely and bluntly!