Interview with Jeremy Prince, the (new) boss of Sigfox

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Exclusive. Since his arrival at the head of Sigfox 8 months ago, Jeremy Prince has spoken for the first time in major media. For France 3 Occitanie, it specifies the strategy of  the world leader in IoT networks based in Labège at the gates of Toulouse.

White shirt without a tie, an omnipresent smile, a calm voice,… at 47 years old, Jeremy Prince is the successor of the iconic Ludovic Le Moan, co-founder of Sigfox. The passing of the baton caused a thunderclap in the Toulouse digital ecosystem in February 2021.

After a difficult year 2020 for the Labège nugget , the new CEO wants to reassure and clarify Sigfox’s strategy. Exclusive interview.

Who is Jeremy Prince?

Despite his English origins, Jeremy Prince is a “Toulousain” who returns to the lands of his childhood. ”  After growing up in  Corronsac (Haute-Garonne), I graduated from  Sciences Po Toulouse (..) then from a DEA in International Law in Montpellier “.

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“I know Occitania well but with an Anglo-Saxon side” sums up Jeremy Prince.

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After his studies, he multiplied his professional experiences in the digital and television sectors, notably at Index Multimedia, M6 Web, C.Productions and Mikros.

In 2018, he met Ludovic Le Moan. The latter recruited him as Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) and sent him to Dallas in 2019 to supervise Sigfox in the United States.

How did the transition go with Ludovic Le Moan?

“  It wasn’t complicated at all. To be transparent, the day he recruited me (..) he told me “anyway, eventually, I initiated the project and it’s a magnificent company. But it comes to a point where it’s no longer me (..) I’ll take a step back. That’s why I want to bring in new people, ” says Jeremy Prince.

“  In 2021, there was a recruitment process. First externally then internally. I was the only internal candidate with the support of managers,  ”he continues.

In 2020, Sigfox launched an employment safeguard plan. Is it finished? 

”  It is finished  ” assures the new boss of Sigfox. “  It was a complicated phase. We had to reorganize. The Covid had an impact in the short term ” .

“The PES is over. It involved 45 employees, including 25 voluntary departures, ”explains Jeremy Prince.

However, the health crisis ”  has shown the interest of IoT  ” he believes. Example ”  with air quality measurement or remote reading (..). The Covid will be an accelerator of the IOT “.

 

Sigfox

How is Sigfox doing today?

“  Sigfox is doing pretty well. We went through, like everyone else, the Covid (..) with reduced economic activity, teleworking where we did not see each other, .. ”

“Indeed, we did not do an interview. We remained discreet for a few months because we decided to refocus on ourselves. The whole team took the time to think for five minutes to find out what we’re doing, where we’re going. Sigfox does not change direction. Sigfox continues to chart its course, ”  continues Jeremy Prince.

“  Over the past six months, we have opened up our network in India, ie 75 countries. (..) With the exception of China, we cover the most important countries at the global economic level  ”welcomes the new boss.

Sigfox sold its German network. What about France and the United States? 

From the start, Sigfox has used local operators to deploy its technology with the exception of three countries: France, the United States and Germany.

“  For timing reasons, we didn’t want to go through the Sigfox operator process, so we decided to start on our own and then come back to our starting strategy,  ” explains Jeremy Prince.

On the sale of Sigfox networks: “This is not a change in strategy” insists the manager.

“  Today, the market is taking off. We want everyone to focus on their main mission. That’s why we sold the German network. We plan to do the same in the United States and France ”.

Jeremy Prince knows this file well because he has been in charge of these proprietary networks for three years. The sales process is in progress.

Sigfox

What are the other Sigfox projects?

“  We signed a significant contract in the field of tracking to connect 1 million pallets in Asia. This validates our strategy. One mistake people often make is to think of IoT as one market. In reality, IoT is different segments with different use cases and different technologies. Our strength has been to identify the segments where we have competitive advantages ”. 

“Sigfox is above all tracking and monitoring” specifies Jeremy Prince.

In addition, “  our axis is to continue to develop R&D over the next five years to work on devices  [devices in English]  less and less expensive (..) The objective is to achieve ultra low- cos t ” .

Finally, Sigfox wants to limit its environmental impact. “  It’s nice to have hundreds of millions of devices, but we have to work on this ecological dimension. We are in the process of becoming aware ” .

Sigfox will he stay in Labège? 

“  Sigfox will stay in Labège  ” concludes Jeremy Prince.

Interview by Julien Leroy