Heineken has announced that Laurence Debroux will be stepping down as the company’s CFO, while Harold van den Broek has been named as her successor.
Debroux will depart her current CFO and executive board member roles after the company’s annual general meeting of shareholders (AGM) on 22 April 2021.
Heineken’s supervisory board will nominate Harold van den Broek – currently serving as president hygiene at RB (Reckitt Benckiser) – to be appointed as executive board member and CFO at the AGM, for a period of four years. Subject to shareholder appointment, he will join Heineken on 1 June this year, working with Debroux to ensure a smooth transition.
Van den Broek has spent more than 30 years at fast-moving consumer goods companies in a range of finance roles, including as CFO hygiene at RB before he assumed his current role. He began his career at Unilever in 1991, living and working in Europe, across Asia and in Russia.
Commenting on Debroux’s departure, Dolf van den Brink, chairman of the executive board and CEO of Heineken, said: “Over the past six years, she has strongly contributed to Heineken’s success. Most recently, she played a key role in steering the company through the Covid-19 crisis and shaping EverGreen, our strategic direction for the company, exploring how to accelerate and expand our sources of growth while simplifying and right sizing our cost base.
“Laurence leaves Heineken in a strong financial position and with the finance teams in great shape, thanks to her continuous drive to develop and nurture great talent. We wish her every success in the future.”
Laurence Debroux added: “I have very much enjoyed working with Dolf and my colleagues in the executive team. Over the last year, we have been shaping together the strategic direction for the company to emerge stronger from the Covid-19 crisis. I leave with full confidence that under Dolf’s leadership the company is in the best of hands to embark on its next growth chapter under a renewed strategy.”
Jean-Marc Huët, chairman of the Heineken supervisory board, said: “I am delighted to welcome Harold to Heineken. We very much look forward to working with him and to benefitting from his proven delivery on strategy and considerable experience as a business leader.”
Heineken recently announced that it will cut 8,000 jobs as part of a strategy to restore its operating margins to pre-pandemic levels.
By Antonia Garrett Peel
Nestle SA has accelerated its product development process by 60% since 2016, according to the company. The faster speed to market has been achieved through a restructuring of its research and development process. Now the company is investing in various forms of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to further improve its R&D process and generate better results.
German chemicals distributor Brenntag has confirmed potential takeover talks with US rival Univar Solutions and is understood to be debating the feasibility of a potential acquisition in the coming months. Univar Solutions confirms that it has received a preliminary indication of interest from Brenntag regarding a potential transaction.
Cargill has announced the acquisition of Owensboro Grain Company, a soybean processing facility and refinery located in Kentucky. The purchase of the Owensboro-based company will support Cargill’s efforts to “modernise and increase capacity across its North American oilseeds network to support growing demand for oilseeds driven by food, feed and renewable fuel markets”.