General Management

A new adventure for Arnaud Deolran (*)

(*) The names of the interim manager and client have been changed for confidentialit


The story begins in Geneva, Switzerland in 2015.
A family-owned artisanal bakery there employs some 800 people, generates €100 million a year, and distributes products to 80 points of sale throughout French-speaking Switzerland, including Geneva, Lausanne, Neuchâtel and Fribourg. But despite its strong integrated network, the company needed to restructure. A local leader for years, it hadn’t kept up with the times and got blindsided by its competitors, such as Paul, La Brioche Dorée and Exki, all of whom remain ultra-competitive in the Swiss market.

They urgently needed to streamline their network, including their product offer, merchandising and team training. And they needed to optimise productivity and methods in their stores and improve internal communication.

Faced with the heavy tasks of their strategic requirements, and the local difficulties of such an operation, the company chose WAYDEN to offer an interim manager who’s highly competent in retail networks.


Very quickly, the project got off to a rocky start due to a poorly defined initial brief. In fact, the challenges were much bigger than expected, and the client chose to work with a manager who was reasonably experienced but not sufficiently skilled for the job. Benoit Durand-Tisnes, Associate Director at WAYDEN, took the initiative to alert the client and propose a change. The interim manager who had been on the project for two weeks was replaced by Arnaud Deolran, a seasoned expert in B2C and B2C2B distribution networks.

The interim manager’s background

Arnaud Deolran began his career in the 1980s before being quickly promoted to Senior Product Manager at CALVET SA and Group Manager at CACHAREL LINGERIE where he led the distribution strategy and repositioning of the Playtex and Cacharel brands.

In 1997, he was appointed International Director within the ALAIN MANOUKIAN Group to turn around the subsidiaries, develop affiliation and increase the brand’s presence through franchises. Ten years later, he teamed up with the CEO of SMALTO INTERNATIONAL to introduce the brand in France and abroad, before joining BOULANGER to participate at the network level in the integration of SATURN during the acquisition.


Over a period of one year, and in close collaboration with the Associate Director at WAYDEN, Arnaud DEOLRAN implemented a major restructuring plan through six key actions:

  • Structuring of the sales organisation at headquarters and at the store level
  • Launch of a new 2.0-focused brand and identity concept; break-even within six months, with three then 10 stores
  • Implementation of all the tools needed to manage the activity: personnel costs, optimisation of flows and merchandise stock, infrastructure and maintenance costs
  • Business management and consolidation of a company with a high-growth-potential network of stores
  • Implementation and management of a team of six people at HQ (Marketing), five regional managers, one development manager and one technical manage

For his part, Benoît Durand-Tisnes established ongoing follow-ups with the manager, which included weekly reporting as well as a Sunday-evening update (requested by the client) to discuss next steps.


The network and its sales are once again on the rise, and Arnaud Deolran’s involvement encouraged a local investor to step in with capital to strengthen the company and its ability to grow.

A year after the initial project, the company asked WAYDEN and Arnaud Deolran to manage the transition of its CEO’s departure. In the space of 18 months, he implemented all the necessary transformations within the company to improve its activity in an increasingly competitive market.