The board of directors of Barry Callebaut has appointed Antoine de Saint-Affrique, currently president of Unilever Foods, to become Barry Callebaut’s new chief executive officer, effective Oct. 1. He will succeed Juergen Steinemann, who will continue as vice-chairman of the board of directors. Last November Mr. Steinemann announced his plans to step down as CEO at the end of the 2014-15 fiscal year.
De Saint-Affrique at Unilever is accountable for businesses with combined revenue of €12.4 billion ($14 billion) across eight regions and three categories, including Unilever’s food service division and the newly formed baking, cooking and spreading company. He is a member of Unilever’s group executive committee and an independent non-executive director at Essilor, a company involved in ophthalmic optical products.
“With Antoine de Saint-Affrique, the board has appointed a new CEO with an impressive track record in the food industry,” said Andreas Jacobs, chairman of the board for Barry Callebaut. “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 toward faster growing geographies and segments made him the right candidate for CEO after the completion of a thorough evaluation process.”
De Saint-Affrique said, “I am honored 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 that 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.”
Steinemann became CEO of Barry Callebaut in 2009 and was elected to the board as vice-chairman in December 2014.
“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,” Steinemann said.
Barry Callebaut, based in Zurich and a manufacturer of chocolate and cocoa products, had annual sales of about €4.89 billion ($6.5 billion) in fiscal year 2013-14.