Who is Patrick Martin, the newly elected president of Medef?

As of Thursday, the results of the race for the presidency of Medef are now public, after a four-month campaign. Patrick Martin, who currently occupies second place in the employers’ movement, won the election with an impressive 73.98% of the vote, relegating his rival Dominique Carlac’h far behind. But who is this French entrepreneur, now at the head of the employers’ organization?


On Thursday July 6, Patrick Martin, entrepreneur and current number two at Medef, was elected president of France’s leading employers’ organization, with a large majority, for a five-year term.


Patrick Martin won 73.18% of the vote, while his rival Dominique Carlac’h, Medef vice-president in Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux’s outgoing team, took just 26.82%. Turnout was 91.34%, with 1,120 grand electors representing the organization’s professional federations and territories, many of whom supported Patrick Martin.



“I would like to express my affection for Dominique Carlac’h”, declared Patrick Martin after the results were announced, adding that “the story is not over” between them. The official transition will take place on July 17.


A long-term commitment


A graduate of Sciences Po Paris and ESSEC, Patrick Martin has been involved with the employers’ organization since 1995. He was first elected president of the Rhône-Alpes federation, then of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes federation in 2016. In 2018, he ran for the organization’s presidency before joining Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux’s team.


For his 2023 bid, he aligned himself as expected with the continuity of the existing team. During the campaign, he highlighted the “extremely significant advances” made under his predecessor’s leadership, such as the reduction in production taxes. His program emphasized the need for growth to tackle the climate crisis and ensure the sustainability of the French social model.


Patrick Martin is also head of the Martin Belaysoud family business, which specializes in the distribution of construction and industrial equipment to professionals (B to B). Founded in 1829, the company has almost 3,000 employees and 220 sites in France, as well as operations in Morocco and Slovakia.


Upgrading program


Patrick Martin advocates green growth. In his program, he advocates a further €20 billion reduction in production taxes to bring us closer to the European average. He also argues that the “gigantic” investments required for the climate transition “should encourage us to introduce an element of funded retirement into our social protection system”.



At the age of 63, he puts the emphasis on training and employability, particularly for older workers, by proposing an increase in the retirement age. He also wants to strengthen Medef’s influence with the European institutions in Brussels. Medef represents some 200,000 companies employing over 10 million people.


Although he has not yet mentioned a precise date for his retirement, Patrick Martin had already told Libération that this campaign for the presidency of Medef would be his last, even if he lost. At the age of 68 in five years’ time, “you can’t embark on these experiences if you’re not passionate about them”.




Featured photo : ©MEDEF

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