Death of Bruno Bonduelle, former president of the eponymous agri-food group

The businessman had been committed for a long time to the dynamism and influence of Greater Lille.

The news sparked a wave of grateful messages from elected officials in northern France. Former president of the agri-food giant well known to the French Bonduelle from 1985 to 1994, Bruno Bonduelle died on Friday, at the age of 89 at his home in Marcq-en-Barœul, several media announced, including The voice of the North .

Born in 1933, the businessman spent several decades in the family business, which he ended up directing and accompanying its international development. He then remained at the head of the company's supervisory board, before becoming a member of the board of directors.

A fervent promoter of his native region, he then turned to politics and public engagement, first by founding and then by directing the Grand Lille Committee, an employers' organization aimed at defending entrepreneurs and promoting economic activity in the territory. He then became president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) Lille Métropole from 2004 to 2010.

The announcement of Bruno Bonduelle's death sparked many reactions. In a statement on Saturday, the group hailed a “a decisive player in the transformation of the group, which he accompanied in its expansion in France, with in particular the integration of the Cassegrain brand in 1989 and internationally by expanding the activity to Spain, Portugal and the 'Central Europe". He also highlighted the subsequent commitments of his former president and regretted a "great captain of industry whose entrepreneurial spirit and audacity have enabled the economic and social development of many players in the Lille metropolis".

"Bruno Bonduelle is for us the epitome of an entrepreneur committed to his territory. He leaves us as a legacy the desire to maintain his flame to continue to support the development of Greater Lille.“, said the Greater Lille Committee on Friday. For its part, the CCI Grand Lille hailed a “inexhaustible defender of the attractiveness of the territory and its influence".

Many elected officials also paid tribute to the former boss of Bonduelle. "The whole of the North, and much more, feels great sadness at the news of the death of the thunderous agitator of ideas and great business leader Bruno Bonduelle.“, wrote the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, on Twitter, welcoming “a genius". "Bruno Bonduelle was an exceptional figure in Hauts-de-France, a business leader who gave hope and a visionary who had ambition for our Region.", declared Xavier Bertrand, when Martine Aubry underlined the qualities of a "man of character, of great brilliance, with rich ideas". Likewise, several parliamentarians have highlighted the career of the businessman, such as Roger Vicot (PS), who described him as "above all a madman for our region, inventing, imagining, planning and constantly seeking ways to make it stronger and more visible".

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