Death Of An Outstanding Plant Manager On EgyptAir flight MS804 |

Ahmed Helal, Plant Manager, hosting the Economy Minister
Ahmed Helal, Plant Manager, hosting the French Economy Minister on April 6, 2016

One of the passengers who died in the crash of EgyptAir flight MS804 was Ahmed Helal, the 40-year-old manager of a Procter & Gamble plant in Amiens, France. He was a Frenchman from Egypt, on his way to visit his father, and the outpouring of grief from his employees in the plant, his managers at corporate, the city council of Amiens and many elected officials clearly indicates that he was no ordinary plant manager.

The workers interviews on the French BFM TV network has this to say about him:

  • Worker 1: “Very, very close. It wasn’t just a handshake; it was an embrace. It always came from the heart. It started with ‘you are my family.’
  • Worker 2: “When we had something to ask of him, he was listening to everybody.”
  • Workers 3 and 4: “Always smiling, always listening to the employees. He did a lot for the employees, since he arrived, and for the plant too.”
  • Pascal Grimaud, union representative: “We are crushed. As a plant manager, he has brought us so much. Ahmed, for us, was a friend. He called us his family. He treated everybody the same. We are very sad. I can’t find the words. I was on the phone with him two hours before he took off. All the employees at the Amiens site, we are all orphans.”

The Vice President and General Manager of P&G for France and the Benelux, Christophe Duron expressed his sadness for the loss of Ahmed Helal, and said, “Ahmed wasn’t just a brilliant site director, Ahmed was above all an exceptional human being. He was the boss of the Amiens plant.”

Michel Baudin‘s comments:
I never met Ahmed Helal, and actually never heard of him in his lifetime, but I have had the privilege of working with plant managers who, like him, could successfully lead their work force, deliver for the company, and make the plant a valued corporate citizen in the local community.

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