July 16, 2007
Pierre Bellon joined a little ship supply company founded by his grandfather in 1895 and observed a recession in ship supplying business and started Sodexho in Marseille in 1966.
One of the turning point in Sodexho’s history came in 1970. Bill Fishman, CEO of ARA services(A leading food services provider) called Pierre Bellon to Paris. Bill want to acquire Sodexho a 4 year company at that time. Bill Fishman coaxed Pierre Bellon to visit the US for a few weeks in 1970 as he hoped to buy Sodexho. After seeing companies which are 250 times bigger than Sodexho at that time, Pierre Bellon decided to stay in business
Sodexho stands for Societé d'Exploitation Hotelière.In English, this translates to "company that provides services used by hotels
In 2001, a student-led boycott of Sodexho services on 60 campuses called “Notwithourmoney” pressured Sodexho to sell their shares in Corrections Corporation of America, the leading private prison company in the U.S.
Sodexho founder Pierre Bellon’s infamous comment “I used to invest in hotels. But with prisons, I can guarantee 100 percent occupancy rate every night” was quoted by Michael Moore in his 1997 book, Downsize This!