Jean Senellart, who joined Systran as a research engineer in 1999, rose through the ranks to serve as CEO from 2019–2022. “As a chief scientist and CEO, I feel I have provided Systran with the maximum of my abilities,” Senellart wrote in an April 2022 LinkedIn post, adding that he will remain with Systran as scientific adviser and board member.
Godard, like his predecessor, is an engineer by training. Chief Revenue Officer, Gaëlle Bou, told Slator this background will help Godard define the company’s vision. Bou explained, “Given the fact that MT is a very complex and fast-moving technology, having an engineering background is, therefore, important to quickly understand the technology and its evolutions, and to explain the solutions and strategy to the market or discuss with customers or partners,” Bou explained.
Godard had served as Systran’s VP of Operations for EMEA–APAC between 2009 and 2013. Since then, he has taken on commercial and operational management roles at such companies as IBM and PeopleSoft / Oracle, as well as several French startups.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to join Systran again, a real tech gem,” Godard said in the official announcement. “For more than 50 years, the Machine Translation market has experienced several technological breakthroughs and Systran, which was the pioneer, has always been at the forefront of innovation.”
Godard will focus on accelerating Systran’s growth in France as well as in international markets where the LSP already has a presence, specifically Japan and Latin America. In addition to the company’s Paris headquarters, Systran also has offices in the US, South Korea, Japan, and Mexico.
On the tech side, the company plans to continue developing MarketPlace, which partners can use to build and distribute domain-specific translation engines.
“Those engines [bridge] a very significant gap in translation quality and are available through a unique deployment capability: on-premise, private, and public cloud,” said Bou. “We also recently released a new product, ModelStudio, for engine self-training, allowing each user to [train] translation models with their own corpus.”
South Korean firm STIC Investments took over ownership of Systran in July 2020. At the time, Senellart told Slator that Systran was looking at Southeast Asia, South America, Australia, and the UAE as potential new markets, but that expanding into services was not part of the strategy.
Systran, now 54 years old, has 115 employees and currently covers 55 languages.