CD&R hires Gilles Schnepp, ex-CEO of Legrand, as operating advisor

Schnepp worked as chief executive of Legrand from 2006 to 2018 and continued as chairman until June. 

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice hired Gilles Schnepp, former chairman and CEO of Legrand, as an operating advisor. Schnepp worked as chief executive of Legrand from 2006 to 2018 and continued as chairman until June.

Press Release

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice today announced that Gilles Schnepp, former Chairman and CEO of Legrand SA (EPA:LR), has been engaged as an Operating Advisor to CD&R funds.

Under Mr. Schnepp’s leadership from 2006 through 2018, Legrand grew revenue from approximately 3.7 billion euros to 6 billion euros and net profit from 255 million euros to 772 million euros. During this period, Mr. Schnepp implemented a number of key growth and operational improvement initiatives, such as broadening Legrand’s product offering from primarily European markets to a broad global portfolio of electrical and digital infrastructure solutions, two-thirds of which ranked first or second in their markets in 2019.

Mr. Schnepp drove Legrand’s expansion into the US as well as into emerging markets, including China, Brazil, and India, as well as an acquisition strategy which added approximately $2 billion in revenue. His reputation for operational excellence has resulted in board directorships at major European industrial enterprises, including Saint-Gobain (EPA:SGO), Peugeot (EPA:UG), and Sanofi (EPA:SAN).

“We are delighted to welcome Gilles to further expand our funds’ European industrial and services sector investment activities, as well as support our portfolio companies’ growth and operational improvement initiatives,” said CD&R Co-President, Dave Novak. “Gilles is a highly effective leader who brings more than 30 years of management leadership and value creation experience across multiple businesses serving a wide variety of global end markets.”

“We believe Gilles’ international profile, experience, and relationships will give CD&R funds increased access and insight across industrial and services businesses, particularly in France,” said CD&R Partner Christian Rochat. “We are excited to work closely with him to pursue opportunities and build portfolio company value in the important French market.”

“CD&R has a stellar reputation for building strong and sustainable businesses and acting as a constructive partner to family, founder and corporate owners,” said Mr. Schnepp. “I very much look forward to working with the exceptional team of investment and operating professionals and bringing my experience to help identify investment opportunities and create value in the companies in which the Firm’s funds invest.”

Mr. Schnepp began his career in finance at Merrill Lynch in 1983, transitioning from finance to industry in 1989 as Legrand’s Deputy Chief Financial Officer and later Chief Financial Officer. After serving in several senior management roles, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2004 and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 2006. Mr. Schnepp stepped down as CEO in 2018 and continued as Chairman of the Board until June of this year.

Mr. Schnepp is a Member of the Executive Committee of the employer association Medef and Chairman of the ESG Commission. He is a graduate from HEC, Paris, a recipient of The Order of Légion d’Honneur and was awarded the National Order of Merit in 2012.

About Clayton, Dubilier & Rice

Clayton, Dubilier & Rice is a private investment firm with a strategy predicated on building stronger, more profitable businesses. Since inception, CD&R has managed the investment of more than $30 billion in 93 businesses representing a broad range of industries with an aggregate transaction value of more than $140 billion. CD&R has been active in Europe for more than 20 years, acquiring 18 businesses representing more than $6 billion of invested capital. The Firm has offices in New York and London. For more information, please visit