Barry Callebaut appoints Dirk Poelman Chief Innovation Officer ad interim

Personnel change in the Executive Committee
  • Chief Innovation Officer Hans Vriens resigns
  • Dirk Poelman, Chief Operations Officer, to act as Chief Innovation Officer ad interim

After seven years with Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) and member of the Executive Committee (ExCo) Hans P. Vriens has requested to resign from the company for personal reasons with immediate effect. The company has accepted the resignation.

Dirk Poelman, currently Chief Operations Officer (COO), will assume the role of Chief Innovation Officer ad interim in addition to his current function. He also reports in this function to CEO, Juergen Steinemann. The succession process for the Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) role has been initiated.

Dirk Poelman (1961) joined Barry Callebaut in 1984. He was appointed Vice President Operations and Research&Development in 2004. Dirk Poelman became Chief Operations Officer (COO) in September 2006 and a member of Barry Callebaut’s Executive Committee in November 2009.

Dirk Poelman

The Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of Barry Callebaut express their thanks to Hans Vriens for his valuable contribution in supporting the company to become a leader in chocolate innovation.


Barry Callebaut:
With annual sales of about CHF 4.6 billion (EUR 3.6 billion/USD 5.0 billion) for fiscal year 2010/11, Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate – from the cocoa bean to the finished chocolate product. Barry Callebaut is present in 27 countries, operates around 40 production facilities and employs a diverse and dedicated workforce of about 6,000 people. Barry Callebaut serves the entire food industry focusing on industrial food manufacturers, artisans and professional users of chocolate (such as chocolatiers, pastry chefs or bakers), the latter with its two global brands Callebaut® and Cacao Barry®. Barry Callebaut is the global leader in cocoa and chocolate innovations and provides a comprehensive range of services in the fields of product development, processing, training and marketing. Cost leadership is another important reason why global as well as local food manufacturers work together with Barry Callebaut. Through its broad range of sustainability initiatives and research activities, the company works with farmers, farmer organizations and other partners to help ensure future supplies of cocoa and improve farmer livelihoods.

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