Photo credit (banner): Maxime Huriez / SNCF

Guillaume Pepy

2008-2019: Going global

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1-minute read

Guillaume Pepy headed our company for 11 years—one of the longest tenures in our history. During his SNCF career, he headed our mainline services unit and later our passenger business, and in 2003 Chairman Louis Gallois named him Group Chief Operating Officer. 

During his two terms as Chairman, Guillaume Pepy transformed SNCF into a global contender and a key player in every category of mobility services. Between the time he took office in 2008 and his departure in 2019, business from international markets expanded from 10% of revenue to 30%. 

His goals were to grow the company and prepare it for increased rail competition, and he began by pursuing a diversification strategy that included the 2008 acquisition of Geodis, a logistics company. Today SNCF is a worldwide leader in mass transit, with a presence in 120 countries and a full range of skills and expertise for network operations, engineering, passenger transport and freight logistics. 

Other highlights of Guillaume Pepy’s chairmanship include: 

  • expanded TGV service in France and Europe

  • a successful foray into e-commerce with, now France’s leading on-line travel agent 

  • careful attention to upgrading commuter transport throughout France

  • the 2013 launch of OUIGO, an unprecedented low-cost TGV offer that made high-speed rail accessible to all and scored an immediate success 

In 2014, SNCF and Réseau Ferré de France (RFF) were reunited under his leadership, and in June 2018 the French parliament passed the new railway pact, completing the company’s reunification and setting a course for the new SNCF to be created in 2020.