The Bel Group has announced its intention to separate the functions of chairman and CEO, which should lead to the appointment of Cécile Béliot as chief executive.
The shift marks a new stage in the governance of Bel, allowing the company to continue implementing its strategy which focuses on three product families – dairy, plant-based and fruit.
The implementation of a separate governance system will take place in 2022, in which Béliot’s appointment will be put before a vote by the board of directors. According to Bel, its board has already declared itself in favour of this move.
Béliot joined Bel as executive vice president in 2018. During the upcoming transitory period, she will succeed Antoine Fiévet as chairman of MOM – consisting of fruit compotes and dessert brands Materne, Pom’Potes, GoGo squeeZ and Mont Blanc – which it recently upped its ownership stake in to 82.5%. Béliot will progressively prepare the next steps in bringing together the Bel and MOM teams.
Bel says this type of governance has shown its strengths in many international companies and should allow both for short-term transformation and for long-term sustainable performance.
It follows a similar move by Danone which saw the company separate the dual chairman and CEO roles, and Emmanuel Faber depart from both positions.
Bel’s current CEO, Antoine Fiévet, will remain as chairman following the transition. “This governance shift is the fruit of a long-standing consideration, and I have wished to progressively set it up to guarantee the stability and sustainability of the group’s growth,” he said.
Fiévet added: “This is also a strategic moment, as we are accelerating on new growth territories: plant-based products and, through our MOM activities, the fruits segment.
“Cécile Béliot has shown over these past years her commitment to our group’s values and DNA, her leadership, her ability to transform our model in order to uphold our mission: offering healthier and responsible food for all. I am convinced that she will be able to meet our future challenges and to continue developing sustainably our group and its brands.”
Cécile Béliot, Bel’s executive vice president, said: “The trust shown in me by Antoine Fiévet and the shareholder family is a great honour, but above all a great responsibility. It commits me to the pursuit of our mission which we have undertaken together for three years now, and to be dedicated to the values which have made our group’s success.”
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