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Feb 7, 2023

We were proud to welcome Cyrille Desbazeille, Chief Procurement Officer at Franke in Zurich, onto the EMEA Recruitment podcast. 

“Shifting a culture of an organisation takes time and resilience, but once the willingness is there and you are progressively creating the critical mass, you can really move the needle.”

Speaking to Paul Toms, Cyrille reveals the last thing to make him smile – it’s a sustainability-focused response! 

Cyrille has recently faced similar challenges to other CPOs around the world in terms of supplier issues and inflation. However, as Franke is privately-owned, the company has a good cash position and is not strained by results, but by business continuity. 

Cyrille shares the reasons he joined Franke, along with insight into how the culture is much different to his previous workplace, Coty Inc. Franke is currently undergoing a transformation and merging three different divisions into one. 

Cyrille also mentions the root cause of his passion for people development. At one of his previous employers, Danone, investing in people is key. The idea that you’re recruiting a person for – ideally - a minimum of two roles (the current position and a potential, developed role) is something Cyrille believes in. 

Discussing patience in the hiring and development process, Cyrille addresses the desire for employees to have things immediately. In his opinion, this is inefficient, because people deliver their best around the 18-month to two-year mark. If people are with the company for a period shorter than 18 months and do not learn from their mistakes, there is a high possibility that they will be unable to implement their learning in the next organisation.

When it comes to finding the right candidates for the role, the process will begin with the recruitment manager. However, there is now a large need to sell the organisation to the person. Since Franke isn’t as big as its competitors, employees have a chance to make a lasting impression compared to multi-national companies, where it becomes difficult to evidence tangible results. 

Cyrille offers his advice for those debating whether or not to go into Procurement. He states that Procurement is the only function facing upstream, along with Research & Development. He adds that Procurement allows you to have a full scope of responsibility to find the right people and suppliers; it also has its complexities, but is a very exciting function, overall. 

Interestingly, at Franke, business intelligence (BI) and data is yet to have an impact on the Procurement function. However, Cyrille admits that BI and data will make Procurement more interesting; if you have a robot or AI managing the transactional elements, professionals will have more time to do the strategic thinking fed by information coming from BI. 

Cyrille shares his outlook on time management, focus and prioritisation - he has always been clear on prioritising his family. At work, he focuses on the areas where he can bring value and defines what is important. If you do not make the trade-off yourself, someone will do it for you – protect your agenda and your health, he says. 

Listen to the end of the episode to learn about how a 40-year relationship with a supplier had to be reshuffled in just 12 months. 

If you’re interested in a particular part of the episode, please use the timestamps below:

01:00: The last thing that made Cyrille smile
02:30: What it feels like to be CPO at Franke
05:20: Cyrille’s past roles 
09:30: Where Cyrille’s passion for people development comes from
13:10: Why patience is important in the hiring & development process
20:20: How to source candidates effectively
25:30: Advice for people looking to move into Procurement
30:50: The impact of BI & data on Procurement
34:30: Time management, focus & prioritisation
37:50: Reshuffling a 40-year relationship with a supplier in 12 months

You can find Cyrille on LinkedIn if you would like to connect with him:


EMEA Recruitment is a proud partner of Operation Smile, an international medical charity that provides life-changing surgery to children and adults with cleft lip and palate. If you can donate anything to support this cause, please visit:


The EMEA Recruitment podcast is hosted by Paul Toms, our Founder, and Rose Jinks, our Marketing Manager.

Learn more about our specialist recruitment services – including Procurement & Supply Chain – through our website: 

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Are there any topics you’d like us to cover in future episodes? Get in touch with Rose: 


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