Careers at Air Liquide

Mission

Air Liquide provides a range of gas solutions, products, and technologies to commercial and industrial clients across the world, facilitating the production of various products.

Business segments

Air Liquide organises its operations into four business segments:

  • Gas and Services, comprising the Company’s provision of industrial gas solutions and technologies that aim to deliver performance and energy efficiency, production and delivery of medical gases and healthcare specialty ingredients;
  • Engineering and Construction, comprising the Company’s design, engineering and construction of state- of-the-art production units worldwide, both for Air Liquide and third-party customers, utilising industrial gas production, energy conversion and gas purification technologies;
  • Global Markets and Technologies, which focuses on the development of new markets relating to energy transition, such as hydrogen energy, markets with high technology content (aerospace, space), and those relating to the maritime sector such as offshore platforms or maritime transport of high value-added molecules; and
  • Other Activities, comprising the Company’s development of welding and cutting technologies, as well as the production of diving equipment.

History

Air Liquide was founded in 1902 by Georges Claude and Paul Delorme, who had developed a process for liquefying air into its base components. The Company grew quickly, and by 1906 had expanded its operations into Belgium, Italy, Hong Kong, Japan, and Canada.

Air Liquide continued to grow throughout the 20th Century, launching its diving business in 1946 with the development of underwater breathing apparatus, and in 1960 began developing pipeline distribution network. In the 1990s the Company added health products and solutions to its operations, and in 2016 completed the acquisition of US operator Airgas Inc.

Air Liquide is among the largest companies of its kind worldwide, with operations in more 80 countries and international workforce of more than 50,000 employees. The Company is ranked 313th in the Forbes Global 2000 list. Air Liquide trades shares on the Euronext and has a current market capitalisation of €33.50 billion.

Benefits at Air Liquide

Business model of Air Liquide

Customer Segments

Air Liquide provides a diversified portfolio of products and services to commercial customers across multiple business sectors, including:

  • Industrial, with the Company providing gas solutions to a range of customers across the industrial manufacturing and processing segments;
  • Engineering and Construction, with the Company providing design and construction assistance to contactors and engineering companies;
  • Electronics, with the Company providing products for use in the production of semiconductors, solar cells and flat panel displays; and
  • Healthcare, to which the Company provides products used in medical gases, as home healthcare products, hygiene products, and healthcare specialty ingredients.

Air Liquide serves an international client base, with customers across 80 countries worldwide. This includes customers across the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa.

Air Liquide serves a number of high-profile clients, including Sasol in South Africa, Yan'an Energy and Chemical Company in China, and Severstal in Russia.

Value Propositions

Air Liquide provides value to its customers in the following ways:

  • Its reputation and industry standing, with the Company established as a reliable and efficient provider of gas solutions, having a track record for providing effective and high-quality services;
  • Its global operational reach, with the Company providing services to customers worldwide, including across the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa;
  • Its diversified portfolio of service offerings, with the Company providing a broad range of services and solutions that cater to customers across multiple business sectors, notably the industrial, engineering, construction, electronics, and healthcare sectors; and
  • Its technical expertise and specialist staff, with the Company employing highly-trained specialist personal across its operating segments, led by experienced industry executives.

Channels

Air Liquide operates a website at www.airliquide.com, through which it provides information on its products, services, and its operations. The Company does not, however, appear to operate an online sales channel or customer portal.

Air Liquide serves its customers through its in-house sales and support staff, which operate through the Company’s international network of offices and subsidiaries. This includes a physical presence in numerous countries across the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa, including in the US, the UK, France, Morocco, Ghana, South Africa, Oman, Bahrain, India, South Korea, and Australia.

Air Liquide also operates through a number of joint venture companies and collaborates with a range of third-party service providers. The Company has a number of joint ventures, including with OMZ, Plug Power, KazMunayGas, and Nuvera, among others.

Customer Relationships

Air Liquide does not provide products or services to its customers on a self-service basis. The Company’s various operating units, offices, and subsidiaries deal directly with customers, consulting closely in order to provide a tailored service that fulfils the individual requirements and circumstances of each client. The Company often agree multi-year contracts with its customers, as well as providing services on a project-by-project basis.

Air Liquide provides ongoing support services to its customers during the provision of its services, with support staff available to customers at all times. Both prospective and existing customers are able to contact the Company’s various offices and subsidiaries over the phone, with contact details included on the Company’s website, or make more general enquiries through an online contact form.

Customers are also able to interact directly with the Company through its social media accounts, including with Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

Key Activities

Air Liquide provides gases, technologies, and gas solutions to commercial customers across multiple industries, including the industrial, healthcare, electronics, and engineering sectors.

The Company’s operations are organised into four business segments: Gas and Services, which provides gas solutions across four business lines, including Large Industries, Industrial Merchant, Healthcare and Electronics; Engineering and Construction, which designs, develops and builds industrial gas production plants for the Company and for third-parties; Global Markets and Technologies, which focuses on developing business in new markets; and Other Activities, which includes the Company’s development of welding and cutting technologies, as well as the supply of diving equipment and services.

Air Liquide provides services to a global customer base, with a presence in more than 80 countries and territories, including in Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa.

Key Partners

Air Liquide partners with various companies and organisations across its multiple business segments. These partners include:

  • Research and Academic Partners, comprising a range of academic institutions and research companies, with which the Company collaborates on the development of innovative solutions;
  • Supply and Vendor Partners, comprising a suppliers of tools, resources, technology, and services, which support the Company’s in-house teams and perform some non-technical functions on the Company’s behalf;
  • Joint Venture Partners, comprising a range of companies, principally from within the gas and industrial sectors, with which the Company collaborates through mutually-owned entities;
  • Strategic and Alliance Partners, comprising a range of companies with which the Company shares resources and collaborates on joint projects; and
  • Healthcare and Medical Partners, comprising a range of healthcare providers and organisations, which supply the Company with resources and services and collaborate on joint activities.

Among the Company’s healthcare partners are professional associations such as Sleep Health Foundation and Asthma Australia, as well as suppliers such as Philips Respironics, SeQual Eclipse, and Somnetics International. Its academic partners include the University of Delaware, Georgia Institute of Technology, Zheijang University, and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.

Key Resources

Air Liquide’s key resources are its technologies and intellectual properties, its production and processing facilities, its sales and distribution infrastructure, its partnerships, and its personnel. The Company owns or leases a number of properties, including production facilities and offices.

Air Liquide owns a number of trademarks and patents that are material to its ongoing operations. Searches of records published by the US Patent and Trademark Office identified numerous patent applications filed in the name of Air Liquide and its subsidiaries, including applications entitled ‘Use of multiple storage caverns for product impurity control’, ‘Helium recovery from natural gas’ and ‘Data sampling method for determining salient values in a large data stream’.

Cost Structure

Air Liquide incurs costs in relation to the development of its solutions, the operation of its production facilities, the purchase of supplies and resources, the operation of its sales and distribution channels, the management of its partnerships, and the retention of its personnel.

In 2015 Air Liquide accrued purchase costs, including the acquisition of key supplies, in the amount of €6.16 billion, and personnel costs – including the payment of salaries and benefits to its workforce of more than 50,000 employees – totaling €3.07 billion. The Company additionally accrued research and development costs in the amount of €282 million.

Revenue Streams

Air Liquide generates revenue through the provision of gas, gas solutions, and technologies to commercial customers across multiple sectors. The Company derives revenue from four principal business lines:

  • Large Industries, including revenue derived from the provision of gas design and technology solutions;
  • Industrial Merchant, including revenue derived from the provision of solutions designed to support industrial production processes;
  • Healthcare, including revenue derived from the sale of gas products to medical and healthcare companies; and
  • Electronics, including revenue derived from the sale of gas for use in the manufacture of electronics products.

In 2015 Air Liquide generated revenue in the amount of €16.4 billion, up on the €15.36 billion recorded by the Company in 2014. The Company’s Large Industries and Industrial Merchants business lines account for the largest portion of the Company’s revenue, accounting for 35% and 36% of the Company’s total revenue.

Our team

Benoît Potier,
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

info: Benoît (“Potier”) has served as Air Liquide’s Chairman since 2001 and has been the Company’s Chief Executive Officer since 2006. Potier is a long-serving Air Liquide employee. He first joined Air Liquide in 1981 as a research and development engineer. He went on to serve as a project manager in the Company’s Engineering and Construction Division, and was subsequently made Vice President of the Company’s Energy Development in the Large Industries business line. In 1993 Potier was appointed Director of Strategy and Organisation and from 1994 served as  Head of the Chemicals, Metal and Steel, Oil and Energy Markets. He was made an Executive Vice-President of Air Liquide in 1995 with additional responsibilities over the Engineering and Construction Division.

Pierre Dufour,
Senior Executive Vice President and Director

info: Pierre (“Dufour”) was appointed Senior Executive Vice President at Air Liquide in 2007 and was appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors in 2012. He has also headed the Company’s Frankfurt Hub since 2014 and has chaired Airgas since it was acquired in 2016. Dufour first joined Air Liquide in 1997 as Vice President of Worldwide Engineering but was promoted to Group Industrial Director in 1998. In 2000 he was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American Air Liquide Holdings and joined Air Liquide Group's Executive Committee. Dufour began his career in 1976 at Canadian engineering contractor SNC-Lavalin. After holding a number of roles at the company, he was ultimately appointed its Chief Executive Officer in 1991.

Francois Darchis,
Senior Executive Vice President

info: Francois (“Darchis”) has served as Senior Executive Vice President at Air Liquide since 2007, with responsibility for activities across the Research and Development, and Engineering and Construction units, and has been a member of the Company’s Group Executive Committee since 2002. Darchis joined Air Liquide in 1981 as a member of the cryogenic production team at the Company’s French research centre. He was appointed Director of Strategic Planning at Air Liquide America in 1989, and three years later was named Director of the Corporate Industrial Merchant Department. Before taking on his current role, Darchis served as Vice President of Large Industries Europe and subsequently as Vice President of Large Industries Europe and Worldwide Engineering.

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