The years 2018 and 2019 marked tremendous growth for Acolad Group following a series of acquisitions (Pro) across Europe.
The first order of business: to integrate all acquisitions and efficiently organize global operations. “In this context, hiring a Deputy CEO made a lot of sense to achieve both of these strategic objectives,” said Acolad Group CEO, Olivier Marcheteau.
Marcheteau joined the France-based language service provider (LSP) as Deputy CEO in January 2020, became CEO of the Group from October, and was named to the new Board in November.
The new Acolad Board comprises the following:
- Benjamin du Fraysseix, President, Board Member and Advisor
- Guillaume Patry, Board Member and Advisor
- Mark Evenepoel, Board Member and Advisor
- Olivier Marcheteau, CEO
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As for the combined Group’s Executive Team, Marcheteau said they will release the names in early 2021. “For now, both Executive Teams are partnering to finalize the target operating model for the Group,” he said, adding that, because “there was very limited overlap between the two companies [it will be] an easier task.”
Marcheteau’s goal now is to drive Acolad’s next phase of growth by helping integrate past and future acquisitions, accelerating tech innovation, as well as structuring the Group’s service offering and client portfolio.
Asked how responsibilities are divided between him and du Fraysseix as President, Marcheteau said, “I oversee the Group’s operations and manage the executive team, while Benjamin continues to bring his 20 years of experience in the industry to help us make the right decisions. He also drives the M&A and financing roadmap for the Group.” (The duo spoke at SlatorCon Remote December 2020 on what makes a successful M&A.)
“AMPLEXOR is the largest acquisition we have made so far and finalizing our detailed integration plan will keep us busy for another few months”
Having come from outside the language industry, Marcheteau said he was “impressed at how quickly the language industry evolves technologically.” He noted the “deep transformation” the industry has been experiencing, adding that, to endure, an LSP needs to focus on combining service quality, state of the art technology, vertical expertise, and a global footprint.
Moreover, Marcheteau said he is “convinced” about several drivers and long-term trends, such as the consolidation and continued growth of the language market post-Covid, digitalization of products and services (i.e., cloud solutions) and the consistent need for more collaborative tools, rise of media loc (e.g., MT, transcription, subtitling), the growth of interpreting and remote interpreting, and the need for more connectors and APIs.
“We are very confident in the future and believe that the language services market will rapidly return to its 8–10% growth trajectory,” the Acolad CEO said.
On the company’s roadmap over the next 12 months, Marcheteau said it will include finalizing the integration of Livewords and AMPLEXOR, achieving tech convergence within the Group, and partnering with translators and interpreters to provide efficient, better service across all markets and languages.
Finally, we asked the CEO if M&A will be put on hold while AMPLEXOR is being integrated. He replied, “Over the past six years, the Group has proven its ability to successfully acquire and integrate companies, while preserving its entrepreneurial and agile model.”
And while AMPLEXOR is their largest acquisition, thus far, and “finalizing our detailed integration plan will keep us busy for another few months,” Marcheteau said, “further exciting opportunities to consolidate the market could still come up. So, we are keeping an eye out for new opportunities, but with an even more selective approach in the short term.”