After 42 years of dedication, Giovanni De Felice bids farewell to ACL

Published on 12/12/2023, updated on 12/03/2024

After 42 years of dedication, Giovanni De Felice bids farewell to ACL

December 31 marks the end of an era: Giovanni De Felice will be retiring, bringing to a close 42 rich and fruitful years at ACL. We take a look back at the highlights of his career.

When did you join ACL?
I started in 1982. Those were the early days of computers and ACL had decided to computerise its customer database. It was a physical file, on cards for the 63,000 or so members at the time. Everything was classified and arranged by colour and alphabetically, and above all rigorously updated. A tedious job. Thanks to my experience with my previous employer, which was a bank and an insurance company, I was able to start working with computers and then joined ACL to help the person in charge of the customer database. Over the years, I became his successor.

What happened next?
A major turning point came in 1985 with the complete digitisation of our customer database. This marked the start of an era of modernisation and automation of internal processes. As ACL developed its services, computerisation became crucial. From customer file management to field operations, every aspect was rethought and modernised with IT. I went on to become operational manager of the company.

42 years in the same company is pretty rare these days. What motivated you to stay?
I started my career in banking, but I soon realised that it wasn’t for me. At ACL, I found more than a job: I found a family. The warm atmosphere, the friendships and the regular activities between colleagues have enriched these years. Professionally, each year brought its own challenges and new things. ACL offered me a place where I could grow and develop. Of course, there were times when things weren’t as easy as they might have been – like everywhere, there are things that upset you or that don’t go the way you want. But in the end, we managed to move forward and develop the ACL together. Once again, we were friends, colleagues, a family. I remember that we regularly organised activities together after work. That’s perhaps less the case today, but that’s also the way modern life is, even if I still see colleagues who manage to do activities together.

Have you ever considered leaving ACL?
There was a moment of doubt about ten years ago, when the director at the time was considering outsourcing IT. After 30 years at ACL, I didn’t like the idea of leaving. In the end, I was given the opportunity to stay on as operational manager of the S.A., a role that allowed me to broaden my range of skills by managing a variety of teams. It was a change to go from managing machines to managing colleagues in the road service or the call centre. But on the other hand, I was familiar with the working environment because I’d been involved in the development and modernisation of its services. Once again, I felt at ease.

You could have retired in 2020…
Yes, at the age of 60, I was ready to retire. But at Jean-Claude Juchem’s request, I decided to extend my career to contribute to the ‘Next Twenty Four’ global modernisation project. My in-depth knowledge of ACL’s various departments, particularly in IT, was an asset when it came to lending a final hand.

What are your plans for 2024?
Retirement will give me the opportunity to devote myself to my passions and my family. I plan to get more involved in football, a sport I’ve always played and loved, particularly by coaching youngsters at Rodange. I also plan to get involved in club life, travel, enjoy my four grandchildren and continue to cultivate friendships with my former colleagues. I’m not going to get bored.