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Through the eyes of… Pierre-Étienne Girardot


Pierre‑Étienne Girardot

SVP Strategy

SVP Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions at Orano since November 2021, Pierre-Étienne talks about his life and convictions.

Time to get up?

Six hours after going to bed!

Your job pitch?

Strategy is a Go Game. We help to prioritize and move forward Group decisions on a wide range of issues, with our competitors moving forward at the same time.

Where did it all start?

I spent my childhood in a sugar factory, in my parents’ work residence, then in Morvan, my home region. My taste for nature and industry comes from there.

A person who inspired you?

I could name two: my grandfather, who made me want to understand nature and become an engineer; and my teacher Hervé Le Treut, a scientist and member of the IPCC, who gave me the opportunity to research climate change at NASA. There, I realized that this issue would be essential for my generation.

A turning point in your career?

Everywhere I’ve been, I’ve experienced key moments providing a wealth of opportunities to learn things and meet people. The most extraordinary times were probably the Covid crisis and designing the recovery plan with ministers Agnès Pannier-Runacher and Bruno Le Maire at Bercy. I’m also happy and proud to have joined Orano at a time when the Group is going through a key period marked by the revival of nuclear energy.

What do you like to tell your teams?

Do it, do it well, and spread knowledge. My previous boss used to repeat this phrase often, and I humbly appropriated it as it sums up the high degree of rigor and collective mobilization required to achieve great things.

In your spare time?

I love to grab my running shoes and go for a long run in the countryside or go hiking with my wife.

What makes you tick?

Surpassing my limits and meeting challenges that seem unattainable, like climbing a 6,000-meter peak, running a marathon or studying new languages to get to know other people.

Hurdles along the way?

Limiting climate change to below 1.5°C means finding complex solutions to prevent a problem whose consequences we cannot fully gauge. This is not the easiest challenge for humanity!

Reasons to be optimistic?

I’m amazed at how the younger generations have absorbed the issue and are eager for change.

What message would you like to pass on?

That with a mixture of humility, collective thinking, pragmatism and determination, we can overcome the challenges facing us.

Why nuclear energy?

To borrow a phrase from Kant, nuclear energy is both the beautiful and the good. The beautiful, from a scientist’s point of view, as it is an exciting discipline with a strong technological content and multiple innovations to be sought. The good, from a citizen’s point of view, as nuclear energy is essential for fighting climate change.


2009-2012 École Polytechnique 2012-2013 Industrialization engineer at Areva - Hélion (Hydrogen BU) 2013-2014 Economist at Total Refining, Beijing 2014-2015 MBA equivalent from MINES ParisTech (Corps des Mines) 2015-2018 Head of economic development department, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté prefecture 2018-2020 Head of training and assistant HRD, Corps des Mines 2020-2021 Ministry of Industry advisor.