ECS Group CEO, Adrien Thominet has been a prominent figure in the air cargo industry since joining AeroCargo in 1995. He took up the role of ECS chief operating officer in 2011 before taking over as CEO last year.
ACW: You have been involved with ECS for a long time. What have you still to learn?
Thominet: I joined ECS Group 20 years ago, at Aero Cargo in France. I started when I was young and grew up with the group. I saw it transform and was ‘brought up’ by industry pioneers, warriors of change. But, you never stop learning, even after more than 20 years in a company. Just like any connected tool you have to update regularly, and today I’m learning from the new generation. The battle against time, the digital revolution, these are our best guides and we learn something new every day.
ACW: What do you see as the key requirements to get the most from your staff?
Thominet: Doing the right thing in terms of effort and recognition. We strive for excellence every day and work hard to achieve it. This is what enables us to be the world’s leading GSSA today. In return we take great care of every employee, like in a family.
ACW: If you could be anyone in history who would it be? Why?
Thominet: JFK, because it’s an airport.
ACW: What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your resume alone?
Thominet: I had breakfast with Barack Obama.
ACW: We finish the interview and you step outside the office and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning 10 million euros. What would you do?
Thominet: I’d invest even more in ECS Group and I’d open a French restaurant in NYC.
ACW: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Thominet: I’m proud to be where I am. But if I had to have a different dream job, I’d say it was to become an award-winning chef.
ACW: Have you ever driven or owned a 2CV?
Thominet: No, I haven’t. I’m not that old!
ACW: Johnny Hallyday or Daft Punk?
Thominet: Johnny Punk.
ACW: Macron or Hollande?
Thominet: Macron for his age and Hollande for his hair-do.
ACW: Red, White or Rose wine?
ACW: Who would you say has been the most influential French person?
Thominet: Xavier Niel, because he understood everything.
ACW: What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?
Thominet: Best: I bought a dog for a girlfriend when I was still young. She left us both a fortnight later. It was my first dog and I kept it for nearly 20 years.
Worst: my mother would say that buying the dog was my worst purchase. I was still living at home. But for me, my worst purchase was a hunter’s outfit.
ACW: Are you afraid of clowns?
Thominet: Nope, except for Stephen King’s!
ACW: If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be and why?
Thominet: Paul Baucuse and Seiji Yamamoto – the best award-winning chefs in the world. To hear them talk about taste, flavours, alchemy and to learn a few secrets. The world is changing, everything is shifting gears, but their kind of genius withstands all revolutions. These artists are timeless. And, this dinner should also include an intellectual, someone like Pamela Anderson.
ACW: Name a product or service you love so much that you’d happily be that company’s spokesperson. (Not ECS!)
ACW: What would your autobiography be called?
Thominet: Never enough.