Management

The iXBlue activities are spread over six business units (B.U.), supported by marketing, sales, and support organizations :

 

  • Navigation Systems B.U. (includes the iXspace division)
  • Acoustic Systems B.U.
  • Photonic Solutions B.U. (includes the former iXfiber and Photline Technologies companies)
  • Motion Systems B.U.
  • Sea Operations B.U. (includes the former iXsurvey company)
  • Marine Works B.U. (includes the former H2X company)

 

MANAGEMENT TEAM

Philippe Debaillon Vesque

President and CEO

 

Philippe graduated from Telecom ParisTech (1984) and spent most of his career in the Thales Group (formerly Thomson CSF).

Philippe started in system engineering positions from 1985 to 1987, and then project managed the French SSN sonar upgrade program until 1990. After heading the towed-array sonar group for two years, he was appointed technical director of SAES (Sociedad Anonima de Electronica Submarina) in Cartagena in 1992. He left Spain to join Thomson Sintra Pty in Sydney, Australia in 1996 where he first led the submarine product line, and then took over all defense activities in 1998. In 2000, he came back to head the active sonars group of Thomson Marconi Sonars in Sophia Antipolis, France. In 2004, he took over an SME, Thales Safare, which was facing some tough business difficulties and turned it back into profit. In 2006, he was appointed vice president of the special products business unit of Thales Underwater Systems, and in 2008 took over the role of vice president of active sonars and torpedoes business unit, worldwide. Philippe joined iXBlue as president and chief executive officer in June 2010.

 

Philippe is also acting general manager of the Sea Operations business unit (iXSurvey subsidiary) and the Marine Works operations (H2X company).


Hervé Lefèvre

Chief Scientific Officer

 

Hervé graduated from the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Saint-Cloud in Physics and was awarded a Doctorate in Optics-Photonics from the University of Paris-Orsay in 1979. His doctorate research was performed at Thales (formerly Thomson-CSF) Central Research Laboratory and his thesis subject was pioneering work on fiber-optic gyroscopes.

From 1980 to 1982, he was a post-doctoral research associate at Stanford University in California, continuing R&D on fiber-optic gyroscopes. In 1982, he came back to Thales Central Research Lab and became head of the fiber-optic sensor team. In 1987, he joined Photonetics, then a start-up, and became director of R&D. In addition to fiber-optic sensors and gyroscopes, the company developed a very successful line of test instruments for optical fiber communications. As the company grew, he moved to the position of Chief Operating Officer in 1999. At the end of 2000, Photonetics was acquired by the Danish group Nettest while its fiber-gyro activity was spun out to create iXSea. Hervé remained in Nettest and managed its photonics division.

In 2004, he moved to iXCore, the parent company of iXSea, as vice president for R&D with a specific involvement in iXSea's activity, and became chief scientific officer of iXBlue at its creation in 2010. Hervé was also president of the European Optical Society for the 2010-2012 period.

 


Fabien Napolitano

Chief Technical and Product Officer

 

Fabien Napolitano graduated from the Ecole Normale Supérieure de la rue d'Ulm, Paris. In addition to a doctorate in pure mathematics (2000), he taught computer science for four years at the University Paris Dauphine.

Fabien joined iXSea in 2000 at the creation of the company to develop a range of inertial navigation systems (INS) based on iXSea fiber-optic gyroscopes (FOG). After two years spent in developing the PHINS navigation system, he took the lead of the inertial navigation R&D team to continue the expansion of iXSea towards very high performance systems (which were achieved in 2005 with the MARINS system). In 2004, he was in charge of the iXSea acoustic division in Brest. For three years, he enhanced in particular the research and development capabilities of the Brest site leading to product development such as the GAPS acoustic positioning system, the renewed DELPH imagery software suite, the DELPHINS inertial navigation system post-processing software and the start of the RAMSES innovative synthetic long base line system. At the beginning of 2008, he moved back to Marly le Roi to lead the iXSea inertial systems business unit, in charge of continuing the expansion of the whole activity as well as starting new developments for future markets.

Since mid-2010, Fabien is chief technical and product officer of iXBlue.

 


François Ravier

Chief Financial Officer

 

François graduated from EDHEC in 1985 and then worked in customer credit coverage with the COFACE group in the north of France.

In 1989, he became financial analyst as part of the BASF group at the European master workshop for inks and paints. In 1992, he moved to Sara Lee France, a subsidiary of a US based conglomerate (chemicals, food, beverage and textile businesses), as brand financial analyst for the French Maison du Café brand. Having gone through various positions in this French company (head of accounting, tax and treasury, financial planning and analysis departments), he successively held the positions of chief financial officer (CFO) in Sara Lee Greece (1999-2002), division controller in the Netherlands (2002-2004) and CFO in Switzerland in the worldwide coffee trading company of Sara Lee (2004-2005). In January 2006, he came back to France to set up and run a country finance shared support service.

François joined iXBlue as CFO in February 2012, he is also CFO of the iXCore holding, the main shareholder of the iXBlue group.

 


Karin Leurquin

Human Resources Director

 

Karin graduated from IEP, Institut des Etudes Politiques, Paris. Karin began her carrier at MBDA (formerly “Aerospatiale Missiles”) in human resources, being in charge of recruitment, then career management. In 2002, she joined Alstom, then Areva in the transmission and distribution branch, as an HR manager, then developing competencies in HR development. From 2008 to 2011, she lived three years in Shanghai and had the opportunity to work as an HR manager in a facility management company. She then came back in France and joined Lafarge. She was in charge of HR projects and change management for ten cement plants in France. Karin joined iXBlue as human resources director in February 2014.


Olivier Cervantes

Vice President
Director of Sales and Marketing

 

Olivier graduated from the engineering school in marine sciences of the University of Toulon and holds a master's degree in physics from the University of Marseille.

He began his career as project engineer for DGA at SAFEGE CETIIS working on marine current numerical models and impact studies with various projects worldwide. He then became product manager for Amadeus in 1999, a leading worldwide IT company in the tourism industry.

In 2001, he joined CADDEN, a company specialized in land and marine positioning solutions as sales manager and opened the agency in Cannes to cover the south of France market. In January 2004, Olivier joined iXSea as sales manager for Scandinavia and Southern Europe countries. In 2008, he was appointed as global sales manager for the iXSea offshore division with a mission to develop structure and sales strategy in the offices of Houston, Rio, Aberdeen, Stavanger, Dubai and Perth. This was followed in 2009 by his appointment as sales director for the Europe, Middle-East and Africa regions.

In 2010, Olivier became iXBlue vice president of sales and marketing for Europe, Middle-East, Africa and Latin America regions (EMEA and LATAM).

In December 2014, Olivier was appointed Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the whole iXBlue group.

 

BUSINESS UNITS

Xavier Montazel

Vice President
Director of Navigation Systems B.U.

 

Xavier Montazel graduated from the Ecole Centrale de Paris in 1991. He was also awarded a PhD in applied physics on ‘combustion’ technology in 1994.

He started his career at MBDA (formerly Aérospatiale Missiles) as a design engineer in aerodynamics. In 1998, he became head of the aerodynamic design department of MBDA in charge of the external and internal design of the missiles. In 2000, as program manager, he was in charge of one of the biggest export contract of MBDA for a South Asia Navy. He joined the air systems division of the Thales group in 2005 as naval program director for radar activities. In 2007, he became deputy director of the naval business unit. Within this role, he was in charge of launching a new product line dedicated to coastal surveillance radars. In 2009, he moved to the position of security and naval business unit director in charge of naval, coastal and air traffic control radars of the Thales group.

Xavier joined iXBlue in August 2011 to head the inertial products business unit and became in December 2014 Vice President in charge of Navigation Systems Business Unit.


Christian Giroussens

Vice President
Director of Acoustic Systems B.U.

 

Christian graduated from the Ecole Centrale de Paris. He began his career in 1987 in the field of ship and submarines acoustic discretion. He joined the Thales group in the underwater activities division in Sophia-Antipolis (1990), where he worked on the development, integration and sea trials of a submarine program. He then moved to the Brest site (1998), where he was in charge of bids and technical studies for airborne sonars, and then head of the airborne technical group (2001). In 2005, he was appointed technical director of the anti-submarine warfare business unit. In 2009, he moved to the avionics division in Meudon as director in charge of the development of processing platforms for the Airbus A350 XWB program.

Christian joined iXBlue in December 2010 and became in December 2014 Vice President in charge of the Acoustic Systems Business Unit.

 

 

Henri Porte

Vice President
Director of Photonic Solutions B.U.

 

Henri Porte was awarded a Ph.D. degree in optics and signal processing from the University of Franche Comté, France, in 1985. He then joined the optics laboratory of Besançon as a CNRS Researcher, where he was involved in research on optoelectronic systems for communications and sensors. From 1985 to 1998, he developed research projects on lithium niobate modulators and guided-wave optics on gallium arsenide and silicon. From 1998 to 2000, he was a CNRS director of research and head of the optoelectronic group within GTL-CNRS Telecom, Metz, France. In 2000, he was one of the founders of Photline Technologies, Besançon, France, and became CEO and chairman. As an independent company, Photline Technologies developed and produced lithium niobate optical modulators, special optical circuits for fiber optic gyroscopes, and GaAs microwave driver amplifiers. In June 2013, Photline Technologies joined iXBlue to enlarge the vertical integration and to develop the photonics market. Henri is iXBlue Vice President in charge of the  Photonic Solutions Business Unit.


Christophe Péré

Vice President
Director of Motion Systems B.U.

 

Christophe Péré graduated from the INPT of Toulouse in 1996 in Chemical Engineering. He was also awarded a PhD in applied chemical engineering on "mass & thermal transfer” in 1999 from Ecole des Mines de Paris.

He started his career for an OMS in electronics manufacturing as a R&D manager for two years. In 2002, he joined Minco SA (JV with Minco Products Incorporation - Design & manufacturing of thermal sensors) as Executive Manager. During this period he obtained a MBA on Strategy & Management.

In 2007, he joined Aria électronique (OMS on electronics manufacturing for harsh environment) as Executive Manager and owner. Within this role, he was in charge of the business development on aeronautic, defense and nuclear markets.

Christophe joined iXBlue in December 2014 as Vice President in charge of the Motion Systems Business Unit.


Sébastien Grall

Vice President
Director of Marine Works B.U.

 

After having graduated as a marine carpenter in Marseille, Sébastien Grall founded H2X in 1991. Experienced racing and conveyance skipper, he decided to specialize his company in ship construction as well as sailboat and superyachts recasting. In 1998, Sébastien boosted the development of his shipyard by investing into innovation and advanced technologies for boat design and manufacturing. Indeed, he brings in a highly specialized research office, digital production capabilities and create new ship manufacturing processes. In 2004, the iXCore holding invested into H2X which led to the incorporation of iXYard in 2006, marking the beginnings of the scientific ships and workboats activities. Following the takeover of H2X by iXBlue in 2014, Sébastien Grall joined the group as a member of its executive committee.


Eric Delort

Vice President
Director of Survey Operations B.U.

 

After graduating top-of-class from his MSc (DEA) course in 1995, Éric DELORT did a combined PhD in marine biology at the University of Aix-Marseille and EPHE-Sorbonne. Whilst working on his PhD, which focused mainly on artificial reef developmentand a contribution to the study of determinism in the settlement of marine organisms on solid hard substrata, Éric spent 18 months specializing in marine chemistry at the University of Shizuoka in Japan.

His French Class II B certified professional diving skills allowed him to carry out a range of underwater operations and survey work in marine and coastal environments.

From1999 to 2009, Éric worked in various engineering firms specializing in the marine environment, in particular for the company In Vivo where he was head of the Med-agency. He then joined iXblue as the general manager of the BU “marine operations” in 2009.