New French federation president inspires confidence

17th of September 2014
New French federation president inspires confidence

The French federation of cleaning (FEP) has a new president, reports Christian Bouzols.

Max Massa was elected as the new president of the Fédération des entreprises de propreté (FEP) at the closing session its 46th AGM recently.

This self-made boss is definitely not a beginner - far from it. He has spent no fewer than 51 years in the largest cleaning company in France. Having now ‘retired’ his wish is, despite this exceptionally long career, to put his experience and his ability to listen at the service of the 29,000 businesses and 469,000 employees of the cleaning sector.

One wonders whether fairies weren’t watching over his cradle when Max Massa was born, such being his professional success and a career that can only inspire admiration.

Indeed, who could have predicted what the future had in store for him as he returned France in 1962 after completing his national service in Algeria and as he entered for the first time, at the age of 22, the offices of the Onet company in the beautiful Provençal city of Avignon?

Nobody could have imagined that he would climb all the steps one by one to become the chairman of the company’s board of directors in 2004.

During that time Onet became an international group established in many countries, and Max Massa most certainly played his part in this expansion.

But the man with a southern accent has remained modest to this day and talks of “good luck” to explain his career path, avoiding all mention of his enormous capacity for work and his legendary sense of discipline, inherited from his father who was a policeman.

Max Massa is in fact the vice-president of the Association of the Friends of the national police force and holds the rank of colonel in the citizen’s reserve! This means that behind the man’s good-heartedness there lies an authority that induces one to toe the line.

His election as head of the federation of cleaning companies is seen as natural for the sector. Company bosses have chosen him because of their profound admiration for his career and for his ability to engage. Many of those company chiefs come, as he does, from the ground.

Asked about their choice, all of them mention Max Massa’s humanism and his profound respect for people.

And when one questions the new president about what he liked most in his job, he invariably responds that “human relations” were he liked best. It’s true that one needs to know how to handle human relations in a sector when men and women will never be replaced by machines.

The trust which he inspires is also based on a realistic and consultative programme that gives more power to the federation’s regional chambers and emphasises the need to train not only young people, but company directors as well. As far as he’s concerned the FEP of tomorrow has to strengthen the management of different cleaning-related activities.

He stresses that FEP should be extremely proud of its achievements in terms of integration, training and wage progression during these past few years, which all happened in a field where full-time working is still practiced by less than half of the workforce.


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