, ) is a French multinational corporation
, one of
the largest food services
and facilities management
companies in the
world, with 355,000 employees, representing 130 nationalities,
present on 30,600 sites in 80 countries. For fiscal year 2008
(ending August 2008) revenues reached 13.6 billion euros, with a
market capitalization of 5.6 billion euros. Revenues by region
represent: 37% Continental Europe, 37% North America, 11% UK and
Ireland, 15% Rest of World.
Sodexo is organized into two entitites: Food Services and
Facilities Management and Service Vouchers and Cards. Sodexo
services many sectors including private corporations, government
agencies, schools from elementary
bases, and correctional facilities
company was launched in 1966 by Pierre
Bellon (Chairman) in Marseille, France, initially
serving company restaurants, schools and hospitals under the name
Hotelière ( ).
the 1970s, the company expanded in France and internationally;
first in Belgium, then
Africa, and finally the Middle East. After an initial public offering on the
Paris Bourse in 1983, the firm continued its expansion into North America, South
America, Japan, South Africa, and Russia.
Societé d'Exploitation Hotelière's holding company
changed its name to
, and the company forged alliances with
, Wood Dining Services
and Universal Ogden Services
Sodexho Alliance became the leader in
remote site management after a merger with Universal Ogden
, Sodexho merged with Marriott
Management Services, at the
time one of the largest food services companies in North America.
Included in the merger was a name change to Sodexho Marriott
. The merger helped Sodexho become one of the largest
food services providers in America.
2002 Sodexho was listed on the New York Stock
In 2005 Michel
was appointed Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Pierre
Bellon, who continues as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
In the summer of 2006
, the company made
headlines for inking a deal with NBA legend and business
entrepreneur, Earvin Magic Johnson
Magic Food Provisions, a subsidiary of Magic Johnson Enterprises.
The initiative includes a marketing agreement and the formation of
SodexhoMagic, LLC—a new joint venture that is 51 percent owned by
September 2007, its United
States operations are headed up by President and CEO
George Chavel, who replaced Richard Macedonia.
Food services and facilities management
Sodexo offerings range from self-service food services that include
staff restaurants, catering, executive dining, vending, and meal
delivery, to integrated facilities management services that include
soft services; providing reception help desks, concierge services,
cleaning, laundry, grounds keeping, waste management, and
facilities maintenance to hard services that include plumbing, HVAC
filter systems, energy maintenance and repair, and project
Service Vouchers and Cards (SVC)
One of the top two companies worldwide in this sector, Sodexo
provides companies and public authorities with meal passes,
restaurant vouchers, mobility passes, leisure passes, book cards,
and training vouchers.
The company changed its official name from Sodexho Alliance to
simply Sodexo after a shareholder
at the company's annual general
on 22 January 2008. The reason for removing the letter
'h' from Sodexho, cited in the group's 2007 annual report, is that
"in certain languages an 'x' followed by an 'h' is difficult to
pronounce". The company's corporate website also states that it
draws emphasis away from the hotel services industry they were once
associated with, as they now focus on many other directions. A new
logo was adopted at the same time. The logo of the company was also
changed, dropping the five stars to a single star. The bar of the
letter 'x' is also now curved, like a smile, supposedly suggestive
of the company's desire to constantly seek and increase the
satisfaction of their clients. The prefix 'Sod
' was retained, despite negative
connotations in British
Sodexo started the STOP Hunger
initiative in 1996 in the USA to fight hunger and its root causes.
In 2007 the Sodexo Foundation initiatiated a program of STOP Hunger
scholarships to recognize students who were engaged in community
service to fight hunger.
The Sodexo Foundation has also funded research on the root causes
of hunger and possible solutions to the problem. The company's
Feeding our Future program provides meals for needy children in 28
cities in the US and Canada.
Sodexo currently has active STOP Hunger
initiatives in 23 countries.
The company's activities in private prisons and in schools have
given rise to considerable controversy at over sixty US colleges
and institutions . The film Super
Size Me criticized Sodexo's policies on child nutrition in
their client schools, featuring Madison Junior High School in
In 2004, UK TV Channel 4 showed a
documentary exposing the unhygienic preparation of food by Tillery Valley
(a subsidiary of
been at least eight boycotts of Sodexo, for
varying reasons: at the School of Oriental and African Studies at
the University of London, at
University in Washington D.C., and at Université Laval in
City, at Binghamton University in New York, and Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, at DePauw
University in Indiana, at Nordea banks
in Finland and at the University of Tampere, Finland.
The boycott at the American
University was in protest of several of Sodexo's business
relationships and practices: its partnerships with the US Military,
its business with prisons, low pay, and poor working conditions.
Similarly, at DePauw University the students protested Sodexo's low
pay, relationship with prisons, and the lack of local food options.
boycott at Université
Laval protested the university administration's refusal
of an initiative by the general student association (CADEUL) to
provide food services to the university.
At the Nordea banks
the issue was a cut in wages after Sodexo took over the bank's
workplace food services. After a successful boycott, the wages were
raised. Sodexo has come under fire in the UK for doing business
with the Harmondsworth
, home to many asylum seekers.