Interview of Adama Yeo, E-MBA 12 | École des Ponts Business School

Interview of Adama Yeo, E-MBA 12

Congratulations to Adama Yeo, E-MBA 12, on his new role of Director, head of Innovation and International Development.

Adama Yeo is here with us to answer some questions and to spread some light about how education, experience and a driven mindset helped him become director, head of Innovation and Internal development. He will tell us something more about his brand new position, his responsibilities and how he made it to the top.

What are the company’s expectations for you in this role?

–          Driving Innovation and digital policy within the company

–          Advising and supporting Ivory Coast government authorities on innovative projects

–          Developing the company business expansion strategies in sub-saharan Africa (Joint- ventures, M&A, other partneships…)

–          Supervision of oversea network offices in West & Central Africa (4 subsidiaries covering 16 countries)

What learning have you added to your portfolio over the last year that prepared you to take on this new position?

On the top on my experience in my previous company, having a strategic vision in the management of the company was the main lesson that I learned.

How did the E-MBA help you with this?

E-MBA course was a kind of open mind process at 360°. I come out quite well equipped. I first negotiated this new job well thanks to this training. And subsequently I easily perform the analysis of the internal and external environment of the company in a relatively short time. At present, I am working on strategic orientations for the year 2019.

How resourceful was the group work you did in class? Have you applied it here?

My job requires a lot of meeting and presentation to high prersons at different levels including members of the government. The work done in groups and especially the presentations made throughout this program allowed me to familiarize myself with this exercise.

Tell us about your first 90 days?

My first days at the company were a bit difficult because I was entering a new environment to which I had to adapt. I have always worked with reduced teams and this time I find myself in a company of 1000 employees with a hundred under my direct responsibility.

I had significant support from the management which allowed me to quickly join the team. I have not reached 90 days yet so I can certainly tell you more soon.

What was your strategy to manage everyone’s expectations?

Our company by its history comes from the privatization of a public entity of the State of Côte d’Ivoire. As a result, there is still administrative red tape to date in its operation.

I come from a private company with a very different way of working and speed. I had to revisit my leadership style to fit the context. I integrate a much more participative approach into decision making. This greatly facilitated my integration and to take over of my mission.

How much of your role is demands Leadership skills? Which of your skills are you using the most?

My job requires different styles of leadership as it is basically a change management project through innovation and development programs. It is therefore important to develop leadership skills to succeed in this mission. First of all you have to have motivation, conviction, vision and goals. In addition to all this, I use communication and delegation a lot more to move forward.

What are the challenges ahead?

The real challenge of my job is the substantial transformation of the company to make it more efficient and competitive.

What trends are you seeing in the market at the moment?

Our business is centered around 3 main activities: technical studies, consulting and supervision on public infrastructure projects in the fields of energy, transport infrastructure, agriculture, environment, mines and telecoms.

These sectors account for more than 90% of investments made in Africa. The market is therefore promoter because the needs only increase with the demographic growth that the continent records. At the same time, there is a sharp rise in competition with the arrival of companies from North Africa and Europe.

How do you manage your wellness in this role to keep a strong mental/spiritual and physical balance?

I manage my time to have recreation and sports activities that allow me to stay on course

What can people contact you for?

I may be looking for technical experts or consultant for complex projects in the fields of energy and mine. The application for all job openings should be done exclusively via our website.

Adama YEO

Directeur Pôle Innovation et du Développement à l’International


Bd Hassan II, Abidjan Cocody Côte d’Ivoire

Tél : +225 22 48 34 00 Mob : +225 07 05 45 47 Mail :


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