Barry Callebaut AG, the world’s leading manufacturer of cocoa and chocolate products, has appointed Olaf Blank (born 1951) as Vice President Consumer Products Europe, effective December 1, 2006. In this function, he will also be Managing Director of Barry Callebaut’s German consumer products subsidiary, Stollwerck GmbH, reporting to Onno Bleeker. Onno Bleeker, who was appointed President Europe as of September 2006, will now focus entirely on managing the Group’s activities in Western and Eastern Europe.
Olaf Blank is joining Barry Callebaut after completing a consultancy assignment with Rosen Eiskrem GmbH in Waldfeucht, Germany. From 2000 until the end of 2005, he served as CEO of the renowned chocolate company Ritter Sport. From 1985 to 2000, he held various managerial positions with Wrigley GmbH (chewing gum) in Munich, including CEO for Germany and Switzerland and International Marketing Director.
Onno Bleeker, President Europe of Barry Callebaut, comments: “Olaf Blank will add more than 30 years of experience in the fast moving consumer goods sector to our company. After reaching profitability in our European consumer business we now want to build on this sound foundation. In view of the generally still fragile consumer sentiment in Germany, 2007 will be a decisive year for our consumer business.” Olaf Blank adds: “I will continue to implement the strategy Barry Callebaut has adopted in its consumer business. Together with the management team of Consumer Products Europe, we will further pursue the international expansion of the customer label business, grow contract manufacturing services offered to industrial customers and – to round it off – strengthen the positioning of the three local brands Sarotti (in Germany), Jacques (in Belgium) and Alprose (in Switzerland), which we use to bring innovations to market.”
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With annual sales of more than CHF 4 billion for fiscal year 2005/06, Zurich-based Barry Callebaut is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa, chocolate and confectionery products – from the cocoa bean to the finished product on the store shelf. Barry Callebaut is present in 25 countries, operates more than 30 production facilities and employs approximately 8,000 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.