ON-BOARDING: Jean-Paul Agon, chairman of L’Oréal, has been unanimously appointed chairman of the board of directors at HEC Paris, the executive’s alma mater, during an extraordinary board meeting.
In the role, Agon succeeds Jean-Paul Vermès at the end of his six-year term.
Agon graduated from the business school, part of a network of institutions of higher education known in France as “grandes écoles,” in 1978. He spent his career at L’Oréal, holding positions in Europe, Asia and the U.S. He was nominated chief executive officer of the group in 2006 and chairman in 2011.
Agon’s other extracurricular roles include being lead director of Air Liquide. He serves as a member of the European Round Table of Industrialists and a director of the French Institute of International Relations.
“Since leaving the Grande École, Jean-Paul Agon has been involved with HEC Paris on a professional level — through his roles at L’Oréal — and on a personal level as a major donor,” HEC Paris said in a statement released Thursday. “Since 2006, he has been heavily promoting HEC Paris’ equal opportunities and social diversity program.
“In 2019, he created his own Sheltered Foundation, pledging 1 million euros to support this cause that is so important to him,” the school continued.
Agon in September 2021 joined the HEC Foundation’s board of directors.
“Jean-Paul Agon is both a visionary leader and a man who is heavily committed to equal opportunities and promoting French excellence worldwide,” said Eloïc Peyrache, dean and CEO of HEC Paris. “His new role at HEC Paris represents an outstanding opportunity at a time when the core mission and goal of our school is to have a positive impact on the world.”
Agon said HEC Paris “holds a special place in my heart.”
“This appointment marks a new stage in my commitment,” he said. “I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to draw on my experience and beliefs in order to contribute to the excellence of this global champion of education and research.
“Embarking on this adventure now is all the more important as business schools are at a turning point: Education models are being reinvented, and both environmental and social expectations are higher than ever,” Agon continued. “I am thrilled to commit, alongside Eloïc Peyrache and his team, to their ambitious transformation of the school, to prepare its future, and amplify its impact and contribution to tomorrow’s world.”