Valora: announces changes for its Food Service division

Muttenz / CH. (vh) Valora Holding AG, an indirect subsidiary of FEMSA Fomento Económico Mexicano S.A.B. de C.V. based in Monterrey (Mexico), announces changes are being made in the management of the Group’s Food Service division. Thomas Eisele, the long-standing CEO of Food Service, is leaving the company at his own request at the end of June 2024. This has created the opportunity to give direct sales (B2C) and wholesales (B2B) independent structures for sustainable growth. With Sebastian Kayser, the new CEO of Food Service B2C, and Sebastian Gooding, the new CEO of Food Service B2B, two experienced internal managers will join Valora’s expanded Leadership Team on 01 July 2024.

Thomas Eisele, current CEO of Food Service, is leaving Valora at his own request at the end of June 2024 to take on new professional challenges following the successful development of the Food Service business and the completion of Valora’s integration into the FEMSA Group.

«Over the past 16 years, Thomas Eisele has played a pivotal role in establishing Valora as a leading European provider in the food service sector. We very much regret his decision and would like to thank him sincerely for his formative and long-standing commitment. We wish him all the best for the future, both professionally and personally,» says Michael Mueller, CEO of the Valora Group.

The food sector has been a strong growth driver for Valora in recent years, both in the direct customer business through a variety of sales formats and in the wholesale business through the production of pretzels. Taking account of this development, the Food Service division is now being divided into two segments: B2C and B2B. Kayser, previously Managing Director at Valora Food Service Germany, will serve as CEO of Food Service B2C. Gooding, previously Managing Director for Ditsch Production/B2B, will take on the role of CEO of Food Service B2B. Both will join the executive board on 01 July 2024. «I’m delighted by the fact that two experienced internal managers, Sebastian Kayser and Sebastian Gooding, will be joining the Leadership Team; this will ensure both stability and continuity,» says Michael Mueller.

Valora is active in the B2C food service business in the DACH region and the Netherlands with its BackWerk (including Back-Factory), Ditsch, Brezelkönig and Caffè Spettacolo sales formats. Valora also manages the Frittenwerk format, which it acquired in 2022 as an independent organisation. In the B2B business, Valora uses the Ditsch pretzel bakery to supply customers in over 30 countries around the world with pretzels produced in-house in Germany and the US.

Brief biographies

Sebastian Gooding, CEO of Food Service B2B (from 1 July 2024): Sebastian («Seb») Gooding (42) has English and German citizenship. He joined the Valora Group in 2019 as the Managing Director of Production/B2B at the Ditsch pretzel bakery. In this role, he is responsible for both Europe and the Ditsch USA business. Prior to that, he was with the Swiss convenience bakery group Aryzta, where he held various roles at Aryzta’s business units in several European countries and served as CEO of Central and Eastern Europe from 2015 to 2018. He launched his professional career in 2003 as a finance graduate at the international food manufacturer Kerry Group in Ireland.

Sebastian Kayser, CEO of Food Service B2C (from 01 July 2024): Sebastian Kayser (42) is a German citizen and since 2023 has served as Managing Director of Valora’s Food Service Germany business unit, which operates over 600 stores in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands with its core BackWerk and Ditsch formats. Before joining Valora, he worked for Yum Brands, where he drove the expansion of the KFC restaurants in the DACH region and Denmark, and most recently managed KFC’s operations in these markets as its General Manager. From 2015 to 2020, he held various management positions within the Rewe Group in Germany and Austria. Prior to that, he spent four years managing projects at Boston Consulting Group.