CEO DESSO Alexander Collot d'Escury

Meet our CEO

Alexander Collot d'Escury (CEO Desso Group)

What is your vision for Desso?

We want to be the world leader in making environmentally responsible flooring products that deliver outstanding value in design and functionality and thus contribute to people's health and wellbeing.

At Desso we say 'The Floor is Yours', to underline the fact that we maintain a relentless focus on our customers at all times. In the execution of our actions and plans we will strive for Operational Excellence. Putting 'Best in Class' customer service at the heart of our operations. Thereby assuring our customers that we will add more value than costs to them.

I want to be able to say every day that customers come to us because they know they will get the best service in the world: fast, flexible and focused and they will get products that meet their specific needs today, whether that be designs that inspire or raise productivity, or functionality that can help to make people healthier and happier. They will know that we try to make sure our products contribute to people's health and wellbeing - that is our core vision - 'How to make the Floor work for our Health and Wellbeing'. 

Through some of our new products we can, for example, improve the learning atmosphere in schools through managing acoustics or contribute to fewer cases of workplace illness through our DESSO AirMaster® carpet that is eight times better than hard flooring solutions at retaining fine dust. We are working all the time on finding new functionality that can achieve something extraordinary for our customers.

How come the new CEO of a carpet and sports pitch company talks about health and wellbeing?

Most of us spend 90% of our time indoors whether that is in the office, at home or travelling on the way to somewhere. But generally we don't think much about whether the things around us are good for us. For example, you cannot see VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) in the air coming from such things as paint or plastics. Also, you cannot see tiny particles of fine dust though they are able to enter the lungs and aggravate or cause respiratory diseases such as asthma. Also, noise levels can be disturbing and damaging to people's wellbeing.

In schools, for example, bad acoustics leads to students not hearing the teacher properly and concentration problems. So, we have thought a lot about how we can make the floor work for the health and wellbeing of people. And as our innovations are delivering carpets that absorb sound or reduce the amount of fine dust in the air, this can help to reduce sickness levels at work and create an indoor environment where people can perform to their best and feel more productive and happier. 

What do you think will enable Desso to succeed in the future?

Well, I think it relates to our ability to understand our customers, as I have mentioned, and deliver world-class solutions that meet their needs and positively contribute to their health and wellbeing, today and tomorrow. And we must have the operational excellence to deliver the products where and when they need it. But I would add that the most crucial success factor is having the best people focused on the goals we set. Human capital is surely the most important asset in any company. Our collective brainpower and energy and drive will make us successful.


How do you make sure everyone pulls in the right direction?

It is vital that the leaders in the company including myself set clear inspirational goals and priorities motivating our employees to stretch themselves and reach ambitious new targets. However, we rely on everyone to be self-starters and come to work with energy and focus. It is crucial that we make sure everyone is fully engaged. It is only then that we can benefit from empowering them to drive through on their own ideas and solutions. We look to people to collaborate and share information, and to communicate immediately when they need help or have issues they would like to raise. Imagine: 'If only Desso knows what Desso knows'.

If everyone shared some values what would they be?

Our core values are our guiding stars, which set our course for our long-term strategies and goals. They are a permanent part of our day-to-day conduct and decision-making. Integrity runs through everything we do. Customer focus is a core value with our focus on 'Making the floor work for your Health and Wellbeing'. Then we have three values that help people to achieve their best at work: using your common sense, being entrepreneurial and ambitious and giving people a sense of ownership and empowerment. Last, and definitely not least, our on-going commitment to the Cradle to Cradle® principles underpins our Corporate Social Responsibility goals.

In the fast-paced, competitive commercial world, how will Desso stay ahead?

We will do that by making sure we are able to be agile and adaptable as markets shift and change. Developing new solutions and products with true added value in design and/or functionality which contribute to people's health and wellbeing. It is also about being able to change and transform the business, to make step changes. We are doing that by building Cradle to Cradle® capabilities, which enable us to design products that use the healthiest materials, and develop a business model for the circular economy (where precious raw materials are used again and again to make new high quality goods).

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