Jean-Baptiste Dernoncourt is a retail executive who in a five-year term as CEO led Carrefour’s Romanian
business to double in size. He has worked in retail—in finance and as a CEO—for ten years, in
multicultural environments from France to China to Eastern Europe. He was appointed as CEO of
Carrefour Romania in 2013 at the age of thirty-two. In 2017 he added the title of chief digital officer for
Northeast Europe, leading the digital transformation of Belgium, Poland, and Romania, from IT and
supply chain to marketing, e-commerce, and omnichannel strategy for Carrefour.
Born in Paris, he grew
up and did his undergraduate studies in Toulouse. He holds a master’s degree in Strategy from ESCP
Europe and is conversant in six languages. Currently he heads Copap, a Canadian trading house whose
purpose is to link mid to large companies from emerging countries to the best supply chains of the
world. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, meditating, practicing aikido, and watching the NBA. He now
lives in Montreal with his wife and son.
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Monsters lurk where you least expect them. They are in our offices and our meetings. They are in our
daily interactions with colleagues, and even sometimes deep within our hearts and minds.
This is the story of one man’s monsters—the ones he encountered in his work and the ones he battled
within himself. His tale takes place in Romania, but it is a story that transcends borders. It is a battle all
of us may fight in any setting—the battle to create trust and transformation in an uncertain and fearful
Jean-Baptiste Dernoncourt was named CEO of Carrefour Romania in 2013. Thirty-two years old and
faced with the challenge of transforming this large but steady retail operation into an agile, growing
enterprise, he approached his task with optimism. Then he encountered the monsters: Entrenchment.
Resistance. Legacy systems. Complexity. And above all the feeling of mistrust that ran throughout the
company—from the cashiers to the c-suite. This was not a place ready to transform. It was a place of
stasis. There was little appetite for change and little hope for anything different.
But as he attacked the challenges before him, he discovered not all his hurdles to success were external.
Even as he worked to institute a culture of change in the company, he began to see the need for change
within himself. And his work took on another layer—one of self-exploration. In his process of
introspection, Dernoncourt uses study, coaching, and even a strong sense of self-deprecating humor to
find his way forward as a transformational leader.
This is the story of his transformation, and yours. Accompanied by the words of Bram Stoker’s original
text to set the mood, Defeating Dracula is a blueprint for the creation of trust in a world where
monsters lurk and change seems impossible. Each chapter offers concrete lessons from his efforts to
make meaningful changes—both internal and external. It is a way forward and an inspiration for those
ready to embark on a transformative journey of their own.
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