Born in Paris on April 1, 1949, Gérard Mestrallet is a graduate of the École Polytechnique, a Civil Aviation Engineer and former student of the École Nationale d’Administration (ENA).
He spent the first part of his career in government service. First appointed as a Civil Administrator to the Treasury Department at the French Ministry of the Economy and Finance in 1978, he then accepted a post in the office of Mr. Jacques Delors, Minister of the Economy and Finance, as Technical Adviser for Industrial Affairs (1982-1984).
In 1984, Gérard Mestrallet joined Compagnie Financière de Suez, a company established in 1858. Having been Special Assistant to the Chairman, he became Senior Executive Vice-President in charge of industrial affairs in 1986.
When he was appointed Executive Director of Société Générale de Belgique (SGB) in 1991, he carried out the restructuring of what was at the time the leading Belgian corporate group and began specifically refocusing its strategy on its energy assets: Tractebel, Electrabel and Distrigaz.
In July 1995, Gérard Mestrallet was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Compagnie de Suez. He then embarked on what is still one of France’s largest industrial transformations: from a financial holding company controlling many banks (Indosuez, Sofinco, etc.), the company would become in just a few years an integrated industrial group and one of the global leaders in energy and the environment. To achieve this, he merged the company with Lyonnaise des Eaux, which spawned one of the global leaders in delivering services to local authorities.
Appointed Chairman of the Executive Board of Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux and then, in 2001, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Group that became Suez, Gérard Mestrallet continued reorganising the company by merging Suez with SGB and subsequently with Tractebel and Electrabel. He led the Group into a new phase through the merger with Gaz de France. In July 2008, Gérard Mestrallet was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GDF SUEZ. The Group was then firmly established as a global energy giant, whose international base went from strength to strength with the acquisition in 2011-2012 of International Power.
In April 2015, GDF SUEZ changed its name and became ENGIE.
Since May 2016, Gérard Mestrallet has been Chairman of the Board of Directors at ENGIE. He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors at Suez.
He is a member of the Supervisory Board of Siemens AG and Director of Société Générale.
At the international level, Gérard Mestrallet is a member of the Shanghai and Beijing Mayors’ International Economic Advisory Council and Honorary Chairman of the Chongqing Mayor’s International Economic Advisory Council, Chongqing being the largest city in the world. In addition, he sits on the International Board of JP Morgan Chase and on the International Board of the Brookings Institution.
He is a Doctor Honoris Causa at Cranfield University (UK), Commandeur de l’Ordre de Léopold II (Commander of the Order of Leopold II) (January 1997), Commandeur de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur (Commander of the Order of the French Legion of Honour) (January 2017), Commandeur de l’Ordre National du Mérite (Commander of the National Order of Merit) (May 2012) and Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Officer of the Order of Arts and Humanities) (July 2014).