Ponant Names New CEO Hervé Gastinel

Ponant has announced the appointment of Hervé Gastinel as its new CEO.

Set to begin his role on March 29, 2021, Ponant said it begins a new chapter in its pursuit to become the market leader in luxury cruises and the world leader in sustainable tourism under his helm. 

François Pinault, Artemis’ founder and manager, said: “I am delighted with the arrival of Hervé Gastinel. He is a true sailing enthusiast, who has all the skills to transform this wonderful company and facilitate the resumption of operations. After a difficult year, the next months will be decisive in accelerating Ponant’s development for the coming financial years.”

He also made a point of thanking “the visionary creator who is Jean Emmanuel Sauvée,” the outgoing CEO of the company. 

Gastinel is a true enthusiast of the sea and ships, according to a statement having grown up near the sea with his mother, a philosophy teacher, and father, who was a shipbuilding engineer. A former officer-cadet and watch captain, he currently owns a yacht well-known on the regatta circuit and is an experienced deep-sea sailor.

Prior to joining Ponant,. Gastinel served as CEO at Beneteau group, a world leader in pleasure craft, between 2015 and 2019, increasing its turnover from €970 million to more than €1.3 billion.

According to French yachtsman Loïck Peyron: “Hervé Gastinel is passionate about the sea and sailors, but he is also just as passionate about innovation and sustainable development, two key issues for tomorrow’s maritime transport sector.”

After studying management at ESSEC, finance at Dauphine and public management at Sciences Po and ENA,  Gastinel worked on various projects at the General Inspectorate of Finance before becoming technical advisor to the President of the French Senate, where he was responsible for the economy, finance and new technologies.

After his time at Saint Gobain as Planning and Strategy Director, he served as CEO at the building materials company Terreal, which has 25 manufacturing sites around the world, for 15 years before joining the Beneteau Group. He also remains Senior Advisor for the consulting firm EIM.

Commenting on his new role, Gastinel said: “Contributing to the restart and international development of Ponant in a sector undergoing rapid transformation is a great perspective. I look forward to joining the team, the employees onboard as well as ashore, in France and abroad, and to continuing the great entrepreneurial adventure led by Jean Emmanuel Sauvée.”

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