The Board of Directors of Barry Callebaut AG, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, has appointed David “Dave” S. Johnson to the position of President and CEO Americas and member of the Senior Management Team, effective May 1, 2009. David Johnson will succeed Massimo Garavaglia, who has successfully held this position since September 2006, after having relocated from Europe for a three-year term. Massimo Garavaglia will return to Europe as of June 1, 2009 to succeed Onno Bleeker as President Western Europe.
After more than 20 years in senior positions with Barry Callebaut, Onno Bleeker has expressed the desire to retire from his executive functions and to take on a more strategic role within the Barry Callebaut Group. Among many other functions, Onno Bleeker served as President Consumer Products Europe from 2005 to 2006. With his extensive knowledge of the consumer chocolate business, it is planned to have Onno Bleeker represent Barry Callebaut on the Board of Directors of the new Natra, which is expected to result from the intended integration of Barry Callebaut’s European consumer business into Natra after the closing of the transaction in the summer of 2009.
Chairman Andreas Jacobs said: “The Board of Directors would like to sincerely thank Onno Bleeker for 20 highly successful years of service with Barry Callebaut. After so many years in executive functions Onno Bleeker wished to give his career a new direction. We are grateful that we will be able to continue to benefit from his vast professional expertise in his new function. The Board also thanks Massimo Garavaglia for shaping Barry Callebaut into the No. 1 chocolate industrial company in North America within only three years and wishes him continued success in his new function in Europe.”
The Board of Barry Callebaut is very pleased that David S. Johnson, who has a distinguished track record, is joining Barry Callebaut. Prior to his appointment, he was CEO and member of the board of Michael Foods, Inc., a USD 1.5 billion food processor and distributor headquartered in Minnetonka, Minn., USA. Before Michael Foods David Johnson was with Kraft Foods Global, Inc., the second largest food and beverage company in the world, for more than 20 years. At Kraft he held several senior positions, with his last position being President of North America and Corporate Officer for Kraft Foods Global, Inc.
Johnson, who was born in 1956, holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business from the University of Wisconsin. He is a U.S. citizen. (see also separate CV).
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With annual sales of more than CHF 4.8 billion/USD 4.4 billion for fiscal year 2007/08, Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products – from the cocoa bean to the finished product on the store shelf. Barry Callebaut is present in 26 countries, operates about 40 production facilities and employs around 7,000 people. The company serves the entire food industry, from food manufacturers to professional users of chocolate (such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs or bakers), to global retailers. It also provides a comprehensive range of services in the fields of product development, processing, training and marketing.