Co-founder and Chairman
Xavier Niel is the founder and major shareholder of the Iliad Group, which owns and runs the leading French convergent telecom operator “Free“. Launching a triple-play (internet, cable television, and phone service) offering on its “Freebox” in 2001, “Free” became the first company worldwide to combine these services out of a single device. Since 2012, the company has provided its customers with an inexpensive, revolutionary mobile service called the “Free Mobile Operator” (3G/4G).For many years Xavier has invested in the telecommunications sector throughout the world. He continues to finance more than 150 startups worldwide per year. He co-holds an ownership interest in the Le Monde newspaper as well as in several and in other media institutions.In March of 2013, Xavier co-founded 42 in Paris, which has helped over 3,000 young adult students, and 42 Silicon Valley in July of 2016, which aspires to train 10,000 young adults in the field of computer programming over the next 10 years. 42 has licensed its model collaborating with many different existing educational institutions worldwide ranging from South Africa, Romania, and Ukraine. In May of 2017, he opened the world’s largest digital incubator, “Station F”, a 350,000 square foot powerhouse in the heart of Paris.
42 SILICON VALLEY EXECUTIVES
Sophie has been a technology and gaming nerd since she was young. In 1981, at the age of 7, she was one of the first female players in an RPG (Role-Playing Game) in France and was also awarded, that same year, a ZX-81. When she was 10, she learned the programming language BASIC in school. Since her childhood, she has loved different kinds of games (videogames, boardgames, puzzles, brainteasers, etc) and the worlds of science fiction and heroic fantasies.
As an advocate of project-based learning, Sophie has been an independent developer, computer programming teacher, and director of Web @ cadémie, the Samsung Campus, and the Coding Academy by Epitech. She was the origin behind the first computer training course for “ambition féminine” (female ambition) in 2016, made up of 80% women and is a director of #JamaisSansElles, a movement in favor of gender diversity. She is also very involved in other social issues and is a member of many NGOs.
In 2018, it was clear for her to join 42: to help bring out and highlight not only the technical skills of the students of 42, but also essential qualities such as ethics, critical thinking, creativity, and empathy.
Co-Founder and Treasurer
Florian is a product of, and above all, a follower of “Sadirac’s University”, which he enthusiastically tells everyone has an extraordinary capacity to ignite students’ interest in such a way that they are able to find a job without ever having to write a résumé. A telecom engineer, he is an Epitech alumni where he was one of the network administrators during his academic career before becoming the Information Technology Director for the entire IONIS group a few years later. Just like the entire 42 team, Florian is guided in his work by a strong set of values. His desire for solidarity is manifested through his participation in the creation of 42 alongside of Xavier, Nicolas and Kwame, though additionally through his commitment to the French Red Cross as a volunteer firefighter since 2005.
Chief Academic Officer
Gaetan is the Chief Academic Officer at 42 Silicon Valley. With a masters in IT and a bachelors in law, Gaetan leads program development at all levels including the bocal. Gaetan was the first to join the bocal in 42 Paris and has led the growth and development of the 42 program both in France and America.