Published: June 11, 2020
Published: June 11, 2020

Gilles Is a Shining Aerospace Star for His Customers and Colleagues

Rainmakers are our stand-out leaders who truly embrace The PPG Way and successfully incorporate it into their everyday work, with customers, colleagues, and partners. Gilles Massebieau is one such leader and we’re proud to share a little about him and why he so deserves being named a 2020 Rainmaker.

‘Rainmaking’: Always a Team Effort

Having only joined us two years ago, Gilles was surprised at the award.

It’s a great recognition to share with my team.

He may be surprised … but we’re certainly not. As Davide Cardone, PPG senior sales manager for Aerospace Coatings, explains – once the significance of the award had sunk in and after pacing around the room a few times, he was still not sure why he deserved it. “This is Gilles,” he explains, “humbleness, brightness, and full dedication.”

After joining PPG as a quality manager in April 2018, Gilles took on the position of plant manager at our aerospace transparencies manufacturing plant in Casaletto Vaprio, Italy. Since this, the site has gone through a remarkable transformation.

Gilles has fostered teamwork at all levels, starting with increased participation, introduction of The PPG Way, and reorganizing the production.

Together with the team, Gilles has transformed the set-up and workflow through the plant and improved housekeeping through re-invigorating the site’s 5S program.
Peter de Vries, operations and supply chain director, Aerospace EMEA

What he particularly enjoys about this role is developing his team as they work together to reach their targets. His 20 years as a volleyball team manager certainly was great training for team-leading! The game has taught him that it is never just about the sport itself. It is about maintaining the relationships with the team, with the local authorities, as well as with the sponsors. Behind every successful project, there are the finer, yet just as important, details.

My motivation comes from daily teamwork. Listen to others and work on compromises.

Keeping the Wheels Turning During COVID-19

The site where Gilles works is in Lombardy – the hardest-hit area of Italy during the coronavirus pandemic. Despite this, he managed to keep production at 80 to 90 % capacity for our aerospace customers throughout the crisis.

The trust of the team was crucial. We had to ensure our people felt safe at work.

He achieved this by personally being on site and available, addressing all employee concerns, and following all health and safety measures. He made sure basic equipment like gloves and sanitizer were available for the entire team, despite being in short local supply, and adjusted operations to ensure social distancing.

The site was able to meet customer need thanks to Gilles’ great leadership and the tremendous effort (and trust) of the Ampaspace team.

Comfort and Optimism for Tough Times

How does a man like Gilles get through such a challenging time? Having respect for the social distancing rules and other EHS measures – they are a comfort to him. As is knowing it will all end sooner or later.

As a leader, Gilles believes in good communication, in listening to others, proposing and accepting compromises, and challenging our approach to work. He is keen to have his team members present their points of view and propose solutions. By making decisions a collective choice, it means basing changes on open discussions led by the people who matter.

Always look forward with a good balance of humility, optimism and self-engagement.

Great wisdom to carry forward with us as we embark on our journey out of the crisis and towards a brighter future.

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