Our History

In 1966, Pierre Bellon founded Sodexo on his understanding that Quality of Life is a key driver of performance. His vision continues today as we strive to meet the constantly evolving needs of our clients, our employees and the people we serve. Whether people rely on Sodexo for sustainable energy programs, efficiently designed workspaces, or wellness and nutrition, our employees share the same passion for service. In virtually every environment, we design, manage and deliver On-site Services, Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services all part of an unrivaled portfolio of Quality of Life Services.

The abbreviated timeline below recaps our nearly 50-year history.


  • 1966
    1966 Pierre Bellon founds Sodexho, a company specializing in providing Foodservices to institutions, businesses, schools and hospitals, in Marseilles (France).
  • 1967
    1967 CNES, in French Guiana, awards Sodexho a contract in the “multiservices” market, signaling its entry into the remote site management business.
  • 1971-78
    1971-78 International expansion starts with Belgium, Italy and Spain, with developments in Africa and the Middle East. A new business (Service Vouchers) is launched in Belgium.
  • 1983
    1983 Initial public offering of Sodexho shares on the Paris Stock Exchange.
  • 1985-93
    1985-93 Sodexho establishes operations in North and South America, Japan, Russia and South Africa, and reinforces its presence in Continental Europe.
  • 1995
    1995 Acquisitions of Gardner Merchant in the United Kingdom and Partena in Sweden, the then leaders in Foodservices in their respective countries.
  • 1996
    1996 Opening of the Service Vouchers and Cards business in Brazil, following the acquisition of Cardàpio.
  • 1998
    1998 The merger of the Foodservice operations of Marriott International and Sodexho and the formation in the U.S. of Sodexho Marriott Services, 48.4 owned by Sodexho, which becomes North American market and global leader in Food and Facilities Management services.
  • 2000
    2000 Albert George named Chief Operating Officer of Sodexho. Sodexho becomes the world leader in remotes sites management.
  • 2001
    2001 Sogerès (France) and Wood Dining Services (United States) join the Group. Sodexho acquires 53 of the share capital of Sodexho Marriott Services.
  • 2005
    2005 Michel Landel becomes the Group's Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Pierre Bellon, who retains his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
  • 2006
    2006 40 years after the company’s creation, CEO Michel Landel launches a new challenge for the Group: “Become the global expert in Quality of Life services.”
  • 2008
    2008 Sodexho Alliance becomes Sodexo and makes several acquisitions. Acquisition of VR’s Service Vouchers and Cards activity making Sodexo the co-leader of this market in Brazil, the world’s largest. Sodexo makes several further acquisitions in several markets, including Zehnacker, which doubles Sodexo’s size in Germany, making it the leader in the country’s Health Care market.
  • 2009
    2009 Sodexo presents its new strategic positioning, the new name of its activities (Food and Facilities Management Services becomes On-site Services Solutions and Service Vouchers and Cards becomes Motivation Solutions) and launches a third activity: Personal and Home Services
  • 2011
    2011 Sodexo becomes N°1 in On-site Services in Brazil following the acquisition of Puras do Brasil. The acquisition of Lenôtre, one of the greatest names in French cuisine, strengthens Sodexo’s savoir faire in luxury gastronomy in Paris and worldwide.

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