Ceremony in honor of Philippe Foriel-Destezet (H.58)
Some HEC Paris community representatives recently paid tribute to the memory of Philippe Foriel-Destezet, Major Donor and Testator of the Foundation, by planting a tulip tree with a commemorative plaque on the campus grounds.
A graduate of HEC Paris in 1958, Philippe Foriel-Destezet founded the company Ecco in 1964, before merging with the Swiss firm Adia in 1996 to form Adecco, the world’s leading temporary employment agency.
An entrepreneur with an outstanding career, Philippe Foriel-Destezet was also a humble and highly generous man. A Major Donor of the HEC Foundation, he began lending his support in 2001 to the development of general interest projects for his School, and was a key driver in the HEC Paris Equal Opportunities programs until his death in 2021. In 2012, despite his discreet nature, he agreed to have the hall of honor in the new campus building named after him, and was present for its inauguration.
His bequest to the HEC Foundation will perpetuate his exceptional commitment and profound attachment to the School which trained him. This particularly intimate gesture testifies to the trust Philippe Foriel-Destezet placed in the HEC Foundation and the School, to ensure the full impact of his support.
In honor of his commitment and to perpetuate the memory of this immense patron who left an indelible mark on the HEC Foundation and HEC Paris, a ceremony was held on the School campus on June 9, 2023, to place a commemorative plaque at the foot of the tulip tree planted in his memory. Several of his friends and classmates were present, including Michel Barbier du Mans de Chalais, HEC Class of 1958 representative; Olivier Sevillia (MBA.90), President of the HEC Foundation; Eloïc Peyrache, Dean of HEC; Adrien Couret, President of the HEC Alumni Association, and Honorary Presidents of the HEC Alumni Association or HEC Foundation : Jean-Luc Allavena (H.86), Jean-Marie Hennes (MBA.80), Daniel Bernard (H.69) and the former Dean of HEC Paris, Bernard Ramanantsoa (MBA.76).
Philippe Foriel-Destezet was an outstanding entrepreneur and a role model for us all, as well as an exceptional philanthropist without whom we would not be able to fund today’s HEC Equal Opportunity programs.
Olivier Sevillia (MBA.90), President of the HEC Foundation
Eloïc Peyrache, Dean of HEC Paris, took the opportunity to announce that a large portion of Philippe Foriel-Destezet’s bequest would be allocated to a specific program for entrepreneurial spirit, a cardinal value of HEC and one so wonderfully embodied by Philippe.
This structuring donation will help to significantly enhance the experience offered via HEC’s startup launchpad, a flagship entrepreneurship program open to students at the end of their studies to enable them to launch their business project. Inge Kerkloh-Devif, Director of the HEC Paris Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center reiterated: “Thanks to his generous support, Philippe Foriel-Destezet has helped us to expand the HEC Startup Launchpad program and contribute to creating the next generation of entrepreneurs. We are deeply grateful to him.”
To honor his memory as an emblematic graduate and entrepreneur, we also wished to give his name to the startup launchpad, which has become one of the School’s most attractive entrepreneurship programs.
Eloïc Peyrache, Dean of HEC Paris
We wish to thank all those who were present on June 9 to pay tribute to Philippe Foriel-Destezet, to his commitment to his School and his contribution to our community. His memory lives on in the hearts of our young people and will continue to inspire future generations of students.