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
Co-Founder and Managing Director
Before launching 42 in France with Xavier Niel, Kwame participated in the creation of one the largest computer schools in France and has led a career completely dedicated to IT both as an entrepreneur and within major large companies.His background and his empathetic nature has led him to develop a strong social fiber. He is especially involved with underprivileged young adults in education regarding computer programming.
Co-Founder and General Secretary
Nicolas is passionate about pedagogy and in France is one of the main supporters of “active learning.” Based on the fact that “learning by doing” is a source of pleasure and thus leads to superior student performance, he invented and then directed Epitech in 1999, which, under his management, became the epitome of excellence in computer training in France. He is fierce opponent of an education system that he knows by heart (Henri IV, Stanford University, EPITA, HEC), but one that has stopped reinventing itself, and thus eventually fails to identify the best and true talents in the digital domain. With the creation of 42, Nicolas goes even further as he always looks to improve student performance in the realm of computer education. By creating 42, he has not only created a university which has no tuition fees and one that opens its doors to all talents, but one which features a peer-to-peer based learning with a limitless capacity for development.
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 Operating Officer
Brittany Bir is Chief Operating Officer at 42 Silicon Valley. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and a Masters in European Studies, Brittany went on to complete the 42 program along with the first, incoming, graduating class in Paris. Now as COO, she strives to encourage more young women to pursue tech and entrepreneurship.
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.
42 SILICON VALLEY STAFF
Corporate Relations Manager
The Bocal is the nerve center of 42 which brings together very different personalities from within the institution. Together, they ensure the proper functioning of all the of the school’s facilities, while also enriching the pedagogy and/or developing new learning tools. The Bocal preserves the values that were instilled by 42‘s founding team: a place that is constantly on the move and where passion goes beyond work.The Bocal is always active: it must be able to quickly respond be it in the middle of the night when the network goes down or when the intranet requires an update. For this reason, it is not uncommon in the Bocal to start their workday when others are finishing theirs.The defining feature of the Bocal is its openness. 42’s students can become a part of it as an intern or through volunteer work, thus allowing its participants to advance their skills. The Bocal alumni are highly sought after and recognized by companies for their exceptional abilities to adapt.