Sodexo president Dean Johnson featured in third PEO ‘Knowledge Accelerator’

Toronto – The Presidents of Enterprising Organizations (PEO), Toronto’s innovative leadership and performance services group, has issued the third part of its ‘Knowledge Accelerator’ featuring Sodexo Canada president Dean Johnson in a frank discussion of how he transformed the company’s business model.

The ‘Knowledge Accelerator’ series provides peer advice from past and present members to help leaders enhance the way they do business. This new edition entails nine blogs and a four-part interview, highlighting the milestones of Johnson’s career.

Johnson joined Sodexo as senior vice president in 2008. He successfully reinvented the company’s business strategy by developing a facilities management plan. Within a year he rose to president of the Canadian division. Johnson took an existing model of fragmented services and he streamlined operations to drive value for Sodexo clients. What started out as a food-service company grew into a multi-service provider, including maintenance work and landscaping tasks to narrow the supply chain and simplify operations for his clients.

“Dean Johnson had the vision and follow through to change the basis of the industry,” said Leon Goren, CA, PEO’s president and CEO. “He’s a risk taker who understands that success comes from exceeding customer expectations.”

Johnson recalls that when he joined the company, it was selling within the operating lines and lacked a centralized sales team. “There was no constructive conflict between sales and operations. We weren’t taking any risks,” he told PEO. “There was no sales culture. We lacked accountability from an organizational perspective – we’d miss targets and there were no repercussions.”

Johnson attributes much of Sodexo’s success in facility management to his impact on company culture. “The people in the organization were complacent,” he told us. “They weren’t challenged from a leadership perspective and thought FM was a passing fad.”

Johnson replaced 80 per cent of the senior leadership team. Johnson drove deliverables into people’s performance reviews. He centralized sales and brought in a sales leader.

“Dean Johnson’s insights for changing company culture are invaluable,” Goren added. “He knew he needed to have a cultural impact right down to the account level if he wanted to promote change. His hands-on advice is critical to change managers. ”

Johnson recently participated in an episode of Undercover Boss. “The one thing that struck me was how hard our people work,” he told us. “I’m proud of our people.”

About PEO:

PEO works with Boards, Chief Executives and company Presidents, business owners, senior executives and emerging leaders to develop and/or refine growth trajectories. We also assess the challenges and opportunities that can delay or accelerate the journey, and then work with leaders and their teams to enable them to arrive at their destination, on time, on budget.

Our secret formula is simple. We believe that leadership growth needs organization growth and networks to provoke, accelerate and sustain their growth. By accessing PEO’s full suite of performance and leadership accelerators, coupled with the right performance advisor / coach and the right peers, organizations will get to success faster and in a more sustained way.

For more information, contact:

Leon Goren, C.A.,

Richard Rotman,