He's both a gaming fanatic and a savvy marketer, who took a leading role in turning a Paris-based video game studio into the entertainment powerhouse that Ubisoft has now become. His next challenge is to leverage EDHEC's Alumni Association to help EDHEC students and graduates make the most of their community.
You graduated from EDHEC in 1993. How influential has EDHEC been over the course of your career?
Geoffroy Sardin: EDHEC has been a focal point throughout my career. The signature and impact of EDHEC and the values the school conveys have always been close to me. And I have seen for myself, on many occasions, how the EDHEC diploma attracts a particular attention from recruiters and employers. Another important aspect is the attitude to business that EDHEC graduates have in common. When I joined Ubisoft, two of the company's founders were also EDHEC graduates. I have found in them the same openness and ability to adapt to a given situation and leverage its potential. Always seeing the larger picture, knowing how to take a calculated risk, being open to joining a company not necessarily at the position you had in mind and capturing the opportunities as they emerge: these are common denominators I find in many EDHEC alumni, including those who join our company. This attitude is particularly relevant in the gaming industry, where tech cycles are short and where an ability to quickly change one's mindset is a key to success.
Anything else EDHEC has changed for you?
G.S.: EDHEC gave me an early sense of entrepreneurship. I have always been passionate about sailing. During my time on campus, I joined the organization, Course Croisière EDHEC, of which I became president. Over its 50 year history, this sailing race has become a milestone in the French nautical agenda, with every year over 3,000 students competing from all over the world. Organizing this event was a true pre-entrepreneurial adventure and a life-changing experience.
In January 2019, you became President of the new Board of the EDHEC Alumni Association. Why did you decide to take on this role?
G.S.: I mainly wanted to give back. A lot of what I do today is the consequence of opportunities that were open to me as a result of the education I received at EDHEC and the interactions I had with other EDHEC alumni. It made sense for me to bring my contribution to this dynamic. Also, I travel a lot, as part of my work. I get to meet EDHEC alumni abroad and I can see how active EDHEC's alumni communities can be and the potential that may be leveraged by offering them the right tools and ideas to take things forward.
This is an extract from Otherwise Magazine (#8 issue). Read the full interview by subscribing to Otherwise Magazin for free!