Ismaël Ould, founding boss of start-up Wynd and his lawyer Emmanuel Marsigny were on November 20 at 17e Chamber of the High Court of Paris. They defamed journalist Manuel Jacquinet and the professional information website and magazine encontact.com. It is true that the article published on September 19 was a rare violence, comparing in particular the adventure of Wynd, a company offering software to improve sales, to that of the Theranos biotech, the product of which did not exist. No less than 16 paragraphs of the long article are continued, which gives us an almost complete reading of this prose …
• “A towel to destroy us”
It is Ismaël Ould, hair in battle and beige pullover, who speaks first. The young thirty-year-old presents himself as a hotelier son of the fourteenth arrondissement of Paris, who dropped out of medical school after nine years, to create in 2013 a software sales management. He has always been passionate about IT claims to have a portfolio of 112 customers, 400 employees and big names invested in its capital including Orange, Sodexo, Natixis or funds Sofina and Alven. He recalls that the company was recently spotted by Bercy to be integrated into the Next 40, the forty most promising young companies of tech tricolor. “They have our accounts, this selection is done on piece”, explains the boss of Wynd, which, like many companies of this selection does not publish its accounts for reasons “strategic”.
So much for the presentation. Place to attack. “Manuel Jacquinet I see it for the first time today,” begins Ismael Ould, who always declares “stunned” by the offending article. “I had it on the phone before the publication, I offered him to come to see me, I have nothing to hide,” says the young boss who claims to have had as the only response of the journalist in-contact the requirement to give entries to two clients and to have his accounts. What he refused. As the journalist also asked him to subscribe to the site, he decided, in addition to defamation, to attack him for blackmail, which is not common in press law.
Follow a clearance regarding Frédéric Jousset. A famous personality in the business world. The co-founder of Webhelp, credited with a fortune of 230 million euros per year Challengesis, for example, the president of the HEC Alumni Association, the owner of the magazine Fine Arts or administrator of the Louvre. “Manuel Jacquinet is very close to Frédéric Jousset, he is in the habit of writing articles to his glory, I am associated with Jousset in a case and we are in conflict, and I can tell you that Jacquinet wrote this that Jousset tells him to write “.
While the article contains anonymous quotes from clients and former employees, Ismaël Ould continues his argument: he has “never lost a labor court trial and he has never been assigned by a client”. In short, it is a “company of ultra-violent destruction”. “This article is a rag to destroy us,” he says, adding that he was personally affected by this “vomit”, as well as his mother.
• “A baseball bat in his offices”
Place the journalist Manuel Jacquinet. He is of another generation. A military physique a little dry with short hair pepper and salt. The presentation: “I run a small professional magazine with my father-in-law”. About Frédéric Jousset, he confirms that he knows him and that he is an advertiser, and that the businessman has indeed explained on social networks that Wynd was “a scam”. The journalist then speaks to prove the seriousness of his investigation, confirms that he “spoke with customers”, sent unsuccessful emails to the company's communication department. And let loose the name of companies – a pizzeria, MK2, System U- that would have confided to him how much they were dissatisfied with Wynd. The Moroccan distribution group Marjane would have written in particular: “It does not work, we are going to catastrophe with Wynd”. Quoted in the article, Dior (LVMH) would have asked for a withdrawal of his name, “but no right of reply”.
Follows the attack on Ismaël Ould, who would have remained “15 days in medical school and not nine years” and who likes to present himself as “normalist and neurologist”. What he has never been. He also describes the muscular management methods of the young boss who, “on an online video, walks around with a baseball bat in his office”.
• “A boot lick” of the businessman Frédéric Jousset
Return of the side of Wynd, who chose as advice Emmanuel Marsigny. The star of the bar takes his role seriously and launches into a long fiery argument in this case that he describes as “staggering”. It highlights the seriousness of Wynd's shareholders, the fact that the company was audited by PwC in January 2019, and valued at one billion euros (sic). “It is unimaginable that the government has put Wynd in its list of 40 without ensuring its seriousness.” And gear up: “There is no dispute with customers, just with some suppliers”. And to quote an expert report (the firm LCA-ICSI) dated November 19 concluding that the product of Wynd is “innovative and operational and used permanently by large distributors”.
Follows a company of demolition of all the testimonies brought by the opposite party, which that of a “pizzaiolo of Montmartre”. He says he too has testimonials from MK2, Marjane, System U, Dior, to say this time that the Wynd system works. “Carrefour also communicated”. Not to mention Orange, Elior, Sodexo …. And to quote an article from Echoes extolling Wynd's seriousness.
The anonymous testimonials produced by the defense, whose lawyer Wynd is strong enough to reveal the true perpetrators are demolished methodically. That of a financial intermediary “brother of a character involved in the Bygmalion case”. That of the former commercial director, against whom “it was necessary to file a handrail because of his attitude”, and who is now at Salesforce. That of a collaborator assigned to the Dior contract, “dismissed for total incompetence”. From an assistant trainee “who has only spent a fortnight in the company”. Describing the journalist, Manuel Jacquinet, he speaks of a “liar”, a man “full of rancor who works with his father-in-law in his kitchen”.
It's time to celebrate with Frédéric Jousset, whose “exceptional success” he first boasted. According to the lawyer, the businessman is “one of the financiers of this magazine, whose journalist behaves like a boot lick to him”. Why would Frédéric Jousset be angry with Ismaël Ould? “They are associated together in a case of Arthur de Soultrait, the founder of Viscount Arthur.As they are in conflict, he has developed a real enmity against my client, saying everywhere that Wynd sells only wind.”
• “We may be in the presence of a Theranos case“
Finally comes the pleading of Charles Morel, the journalist's lawyer. The tone is different. He plays humility and modesty in the face of his “brilliant colleague and his long speech”. Maybe, but his is based on the same strategy: the attack. “We may be dealing with a case of Theranos, old-world people fooled by the interpersonal skills of the new”. And compare Ismaël Ould to a reality TV hero. The names of the scammers Madoff or Rocancourt are launched at the court. He denies of course that his client is on duty and insists on the seriousness of the testimonies, including System U or the trainee who had been the assistant of Ismael Ould (“the ninth”). He recalls that former employees mounted a loop on a messaging system called “Gone with the wynd”. And to evoke “the delirious turn taken by the relations of Ould with his employees”.
The court rises, the hearing lasted three hours. The deliberation is announced for January 29th.
Frédéric Jousset could lodge a complaint
Coming out of the audience we talk with Emmanuel Marsigny, surprised that he implicated Frédéric Jousset, a personality well known to theestablishment. He is asked if he intends to lodge a complaint against him, if he is really behind this case. The lawyer evades: “It's not over” and notes our cell phone. As we know Frédéric Jousset, we give him a call. He explains that he is “absolutely foreign to this story”. Mis en cause, he “does not exclude to complain”. We could talk about the Wynd case even before the judgment of January 29, 2020.