It requires four visits but I finally meet with someone at Tessenderlo
Group. Then again, my visit with Geert Dusar, Manager Corporate
Communication, consists of a mere seven minute talk in the lobby.
Home for Tessenderlo, a diversified chemical concern operating
in 21 countries with 2 billion Euros in revenues (2004) and more
than 8,000 employees, is an eight-story building. Two blocks
away stands the massive new European Union Parliament building
complex. Thanks to the Parliament building, the formerly rundown
area has been undergoing a big transformation with new apartment
and office buildings starting to take over.
Built in 2005, Tessenderlo occupies 80% of the building with
outside tenants the rest. Two tall glass display cases near the
ground floor reception area give visitors an idea of the diversity
in which Tessenderlo products are used. In the food industry
(gelatin and glycine), agriculture (fertilizers and phosphates
for animal feed), construction (PVC windows and pipes) and even
in dashboards, perfumes, paper, cables and photography.
So, was there or is there a Mr. Tessenderlo? Nope, the company,
who's roots go back to 1892, is named after a town in northern
Belgium. About 200 employees work here. Smoking isn't allowed
in offices, there're no onsite recreational facilities, no cafeteria
though there's a break room. Meeting rooms have no names but
are numbered, it's three miles to the nearest freeway, 10 miles
to Brussels airport, there's covered parking for commuting cyclists
along with showers. Any unusual employee perks? No.
What's the view from CEO Gerard Marchland's top floor middle
office? What does the boardroom look like? Can't answer either
as I'm not invited past the reception lobby.
Company website: www.tessenderlogroup.com