DSM and Firmenich confirm leadership team for proposed combined company

Heerlen (NL) | Geneva (CH). (dsm / fisa) DSM and Firmenich jointly announce the future leadership team for DSM-Firmenich, building on the previously announced intended merger of the two companies that will establish the leading creation and innovation partner in nutrition, beauty and well-being.

The new company’s Executive Committee will have a balanced team of talented individuals drawn from both DSM and Firmenich and representing the diversity, skillset, and ambitions of the combined company. The existing executive management teams of DSM and Firmenich will remain unchanged until the completion of the merger, which is expected ultimately in the first half of 2023. Each company remains committed to driving the ongoing performance of their respective businesses until then and to the subsequent successful handover of responsibilities wherever relevant.

The future Executive Committee of DSM-Firmenich

Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze, as previously confirmed, will be Co-CEOs. Currently Co-CEOs of DSM, they will continue to hold additional CFO (Geraldine) and COO (Dimitri) responsibilities respectively for the future combined company. Geraldine joined DSM as CFO and Managing Board member in 2014. A Swiss-French-British national, she had been Global Chief Financial Officer and member of the Operations Council of the SGS Group since 2010, during which she was voted Switzerland’s CFO of the year for large companies. Dimitri, a Dutch national, began working at DSM in 1990 and held a series of leadership roles before being named Young Captain of the Year in the Netherlands – a countrywide leadership talent program – in 2006. He was later appointed to DSM’s Managing Board in 2013. Geraldine and Dimitri became Co-CEOs of DSM in 2020.

It has also been previously announced that Emmanuel Butstraen will be Chief Integration Officer, overseeing the merger of these two iconic companies. Emmanuel, a French national, joined Firmenich in 2018 as President of Taste + Beyond to drive the transformation of that division. He had spent the previous ten years leading businesses at Solvay, including the last nine years on the company’s Management Committee. Prior to this he spent 17 years with BASF.

DSM-Firmenich will bring together a world-class foundation in science and technology with deep expertise across a global network of 15 R+D facilities, which will be led by Dr. Sarah Reisinger. Sarah, a US national, holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of California, Berkeley and has extensive experience in biology and related fields, previously serving in leadership roles at Ginkgo Bioworks and Amyris. She joined Firmenich in 2018 to lead the company’s biotechnology and process engineering teams before taking on her current position of Chief Research Officer in 2021.

DSM-Firmenich will have four high-performing and complementary businesses, all with pioneering, leadership positions and each led by a member of the future Executive Committee.

Perfumery + Beauty, incorporating Firmenich’s Fragrance and Ingredients divisions and DSM’s Personal Care + Aroma business, will be led by Ilaria Resta, who is currently Firmenich’s President of Perfumery. Ilaria, an Italian-Swiss national, is an internationally awarded industry leader who joined Firmenich in 2020 after two decades with Procter + Gamble during which she was responsible for building some of the world’s leading home and personal care brands.

Patrick Niels, DSM’s Executive Vice President Food + Beverage, will lead the combined Food + Beverage/Taste + Beyond business in establishing a global-scale partner for the industry with extensive capabilities in taste, nutrition and functionality. Patrick, a Dutch-US national, began his career at Gist-Brocades in 1991, which was acquired by DSM in 1998. He has since held various leadership roles across the company in different businesses and in various regions including almost nine years in the US where, amongst others, he was responsible for both North and South America.

DSM’s Executive Vice President Health, Nutrition + Care, Philip Eykerman, will continue to lead this business’ development of customized quality end-to-end solutions that support the health of people at every life stage. Philip, a Belgian national, left McKinsey + Company in 2011 to oversee DSM’s corporate strategy and M+A as Executive Vice President Corporate Strategy + Acquisitions. Since 2020, he has been responsible for all of DSM’s activities in human nutrition and health, as well as M+A across the company.

Ivo Lansbergen, who was appointed DSM’s Executive Vice President for Animal Health + Nutrition in 2019, will continue to lead this business in developing solutions to alleviate pressure on the planet’s finite natural resources while satisfying the increasing demand for protein. Ivo, a Dutch national, has been with DSM since 1997 during which time he has held various senior positions in different DSM businesses in both Europe and Asia.

The success of both DSM and Firmenich is based on each company’s passionate, talented and diverse workforce. Mieke Van de Capelle, currently Firmenich’s Chief Human Resources Officer, will lead in creating an engaging culture that continues to put its people first. Mieke, a Belgian national, combines twenty years of business acumen and a deep understanding of people and culture strategies within global innovation-driven organizations such as Sara Lee Corporation and Perfetti van Melle. She joined Firmenich in 2016 and, under her leadership, Firmenich became one of only seven companies in the world to obtain the EDGE global certification for gender equality.

Recognizing the scope and global reach of the new DSM-Firmenich company, Jane Sinclair, presently Firmenich’s General Counsel and Head of Legal and Compliance, will complete the new Executive Committee. An Australian national, Jane brings more than thirty years’ experience of corporate law, regulation and compliance, business ethics, intellectual property and beyond in both emerging and mature markets. With her commitment to responsible business, the company’s leadership in environmental, safety and regulatory stewardship has been recognized globally, including a CDP «Triple A» score for four consecutive years. Prior to joining Firmenich in 2015, Jane held various senior roles at companies including Abbott, AbbVie, and The Coca-Cola Company.

Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze, Co-CEOs of DSM, commented: «We are appreciative of the support from all the leaders on the current executive management teams of DSM and Firmenich as everyone is fully committed to the successful integration of these great companies. They have laid the foundations from which DSM-Firmenich will be able to make a major difference for our customers, and ultimately for people and the planet. This talented team draws on the incredible expertise of both organizations and our future Executive Committee will be an incredibly strong joint leadership team with proven track records of strategic execution and value creation for all stakeholders. By coming together, we will establish a company where anyone, anywhere, wishing to make a positive impact should aspire to work.»

Gilbert Ghostine, who will retire from his position as CEO of Firmenich upon completion of the merger, commented: «There is a tremendous amount of talent and skill in both organizations and this executive team is perfectly placed to bring together our two culturally aligned and iconic businesses. I am confident that through this team, DSM-Firmenich has the right balance of experience, capabilities and skills to provide compelling opportunities for our people. The leaders we are announcing today are all highly accomplished and will ensure we create a global leader capable of bringing breakthrough purpose-led innovation and technologies to our customers.»