Charles-Edouard Bouée steps down as CEO of Roland Berger

02 July 2019 5 min. read
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Roland Berger’s chief executive officer, Charles-Edouard Bouée, in his second term at the helm of the global management consulting firm, has stepped down as he seeks to take on “new opportunities”. 

“Having worked 25 years in consultancy, I am all set to turn this invaluable experience and expertise into an entrepreneurial practice. I'm thrilled to be heading for new endeavours.” 

Charles-Édouard Bouée joined Roland Berger eighteen years ago, having previously served A.T. Kearney in France and Société Générale in London. At Roland Berger, Bouée held a range of leadership positions prior to ascending to the top role. He first focused on clients in France, but after he relocated to China in 2006 to lead the firm’s China office his focus shifted to Asia. 

In 2009 he was appointed regional head of Roland Berger Asia, and later on he assumed responsibility for the firm’s France, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Morocco region. In the summer of 2014, he was named CEO, becoming the first non-German leader since Roland Berger was founded by company namesake in 1967 in Munich.Charles-Edouard Bouée steps down as CEO of Roland BergerFive years down the line, and a year into his second term as CEO, Bouée believes that the time is right to pursue his next career step. While not revealing his next move, he has shared on social network LinkedIn that he will operate in an entrepreneurial setting with a focus on digitisation and artificial intelligence. “Globalisation and digitisation are turning the world upside down – offering unparalleled opportunities that I wish to explore and seize.” 

Speaking of his tenure at the consultancy, Bouée said gratefully, “It has been an incredible journey with Roland Berger: I sincerely thank my colleagues, clients and partners for all the confidence & commitment, passion & persistence, adventures & achievements we shared along the way. I learned so much from all of you all over the world, I lived fully as a leader, a consultant and a person, I loved the things I did as well as the people I interacted with.” 

Record performance

Another reason for his premature timing – which has surprised Roland Berger and is uncommon under CEOs of strategy consulting firms – lies in Roland Berger’s development. When the Frenchman took the reins in 2014, Roland Berger found itself in a delicate situation. In the years previous, the firm faced financial challenges, and nearly lost its independence as a result. Deutsche Bank and founder Roland Berger had to inject millions into the company to maintain its healthy status during the financial crisis years, with the developments at what is regarded as Europe’s most prestigious home-grown consultancy closely watched  by rivals. In 2010, Deloitte Consulting came close to acquiring the outfit, and three years later, Roland Berger just managed to fend-off interest from Deloitte Consulting, PwC and KPMG.

While the likes of Monitor Group (Deloitte, now Monitor Deloitte), Booz & Company (PwC, now Strategy&) and The Parthenon Group (EY, now EY-Parthenon) decided to join the larger muscle of the Big Four, Roland Berger firmly held on to its independent, partnership-led strategy. Bouée played an instrumental role in solidifying this strategy – he launched a new corporate strategy, optimised the firm’s global footprint, and returned the firm to growth and profitability. Last year was the crown of his work, with the firm looking back at “its best ever financial year”, confirmed Marcus Berret, Chairman of Roland Berger’s Supervisory Board.

“We thank Charles-Edouard for his strong contributions to our firm over the past 18 years, and especially for the energising role he played in bringing our firm back on a growth track. He has been one of the engines behind our transformation.” 

Deputy CEO Stefan Schaible has taken on Bouée’s tasks on an interim basis, supported by a global management team consisting of Tijo Collot d'Escury (Managing Partner of the Netherlands), Sascha Haghani (Managing Partner of Germany, Austria and Switzerland), Satoshi Nagashima (Managing Partner of Japan), and Olivier de Panafieu (Co-Managing Partner of France). “We are aiming for another record year in 2019,” highlighted Schaible.

Bouée remains affiliated with the firm as a strategic advisor. “We are happy to benefit from his experience in an advisory role,” said Berret.

Earlier this month, Roland Beger appointed eight new partners in Europe, and two each in the Middle East and Asia.