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Xavier Heymans, CEO

by xavier last modified 2010-02-17 09:19
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As CEO of Zea, Xavier Heymans manages the operations and strategy of the association. Xavier is member of the Advisory Board of the Plone Foundation, and the Foundation representative at the European Commission. Xavier is co-founder and representative of OBOOE, the European Federation for the Open Source Industry representing over 1000 open source SME across Europe.

Specializing in management and active in open source since 2002, Xavier has developed an operational expertise in the socio-economic challenges facing open source communities and distributed business ecosystems. Within the Plone/Zope communities he has become familiar with the organizational challenges facing SMEs to deliver professional solutions based on an open source shared technology.

Under his leadership, and taking advantage of ZEA Partners location nearby Brussels, ZEA has successfully developed international activities of collective interest in several fields:

  • Research: Xavier has a long term-experience in research projects having taken part in pan-European EC-funded projects including Flossmetrics, Qualoss, eGovMoNet and Calibre. Jointly with Paul Adams, he launched FOSS-ORI: the Free/Open Source Open Research Initiative. This project aims to share the benefits of public funded research to a broad audience going beyond the academic world.
  • Advocacy: as co-founder and representative of OBOOE, Xavier is actively involved in advocacy activities in Brussels collaborating closely with other organizations as Open Forum Europe and FSFE.
  • eGovernement: in 2007, Xavier organized the first international Plone eGovernment workshop with lead to the creation of the PloneGov initiative. Since then, he is in charge of the international operations and promotion of the project. In 2 years of existence, PloneGov, its SubCommunities and collaborating projects have reached 727 Public Administrations and received 23 awards and nominations across the world. For more, read this case study on ePractice.


Prior to joining Zea, Xavier acquired management experience in multinationals, non-profits and educational projects. He has served long-term missions in South America.

In Argentina, he served as Project and Safety Manager during the privatization process of the natural gas utilities. He took an active role in the reorganization of the company including the start up activities of the technical office, the management of technical investments worth $20M/year and the development of a network of suppliers and contractors. In Belgium, he was Sales Manager in a Process control business in a US subsidiary, and later, involved in the development of small SMEs.

Xavier has experience in non-profit organizations and collaborative network. In Chile, he served for 3 years in the start up of a technical school and the evaluation of social projects. Since then, he supports non-profit organizations active in social activities as well as in education. These activities include a field experience in areas of maintenance and energy management in educational organizations.

Xavier graduated in 1989 as Civil Engineer in mechanics at the Catholic University of Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium. Married, father of 5, he is fluent in French, English and Spanish; and has a sound understanding of Brazilian Portuguese. Xavier is based in Belgium.


Contact: xavier (at)