Zurich / CH. (bc) The Board of Directors of Swiss Barry Callebaut Group, the world´s leading manufacturer of cocoa and chocolate products, has appointed Antoine de Saint-Affrique as new CEO. Effective October 01, 2015, Antoine de Saint-Affrique (born 1964, French national) will take over this function from Juergen Steinemann who was elected Vice Chairman of the Board in December 2014.
Antoine de Saint-Affrique is currently President Unilever Foods and a Member of Unilever´s Group Executive Committee. He is accountable for businesses with a combined turnover of 12.4 billion EUR across eight regions and three categories, including Unilever´s Foodservice Division and the newly formed Baking, Cooking + Spreading company. Since 2009, Antoine de Saint-Affrique has also served as an Independent Non-Executive Director at Essilor, a world leader in ophthalmic optical products (turnover: 5.7 billion EUR) and a CAC 40 / Eurostoxx 50 company.
Andreas Jacobs, Chairman of the Board of Barry Callebaut, said: «With Antoine de Saint-Affrique, the Board has appointed a new CEO with an impressive track record in the food industry. Antoine´s excellent knowledge of consumer markets, his strong customer and stakeholder focus, his extensive international working experience, and his remarkable success in building and integrating new businesses as well as rebalancing portfolios towards faster growing geographies and segments made him the right candidate for CEO after the completion of a thorough evaluation process. The Board is excited to have Antoine de Saint-Affrique join our company. We are convinced his entrepreneurial spirit, strategic skills and great motivational talent will lead Barry Callebaut to the next level of growth».
Antoine de Saint-Affrique said: «I am honoured to be given the opportunity to lead and further shape the world´s leading chocolate and cocoa company as its CEO. Barry Callebaut offers a unique environment since it combines three qualities which rarely come together: a global leader, which is publicly listed, but also a family company with longer-term purpose, vision and a strong entrepreneurial spirit».
Andreas Jacobs continued: «I am very grateful to Juergen Steinemann for his passionate commitment to our company and his outstanding leadership since joining our company in 2009. Together with our Executive Committee and our dedicated staff, Juergen has successfully led the further development and consistent implementation of our long-term strategy and transformed Barry Callebaut into the world´s leading chocolate and cocoa company. Barry Callebaut now has an unprecedented, truly global footprint, including strong platforms in emerging markets, and remains one of the fastest growing global food companies. In parallel, the company has been prepared for further growth by implementing processes and structures that are necessary to partner with global customers. With his passion for people, Juergen has led the design and implementation of a modern HR structure that enables us to attract, develop and retain the talents we need to achieve further growth. Our Board is very happy that we will be able to further benefit from Juergen´s wealth of experience in his capacity as Vice Chairman».
Juergen Steinemann was appointed CEO of Barry Callebaut in 2009 and elected to the Board as Vice Chairman in December 2014. He will continue to serve as CEO until September 30, 2015 and will subsequently ensure a seamless transition to Antoine de Saint-Affrique.
Juergen Steinemann said: «I am proud of what our passionate team of over 9’300 dedicated colleagues, together with my colleagues on the Executive Committee, have achieved during the past six years. Thanks to our strong culture we have built a great foundation to further outperform the market and to keep winning. I am very pleased that I can hand over my CEO responsibilities to Antoine de Saint-Affrique, who is ideally suited to grow our wonderful company and to whom I wish the best of success».