Chocolate Supplier Barry Callebaut Announces Sept. 1 Succession for CEO, Americas Leadership

Zurich-based Barry Callebaut Group is one of the world's largest manufacturers of high-end chocolate and cocoa products.

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ZURICH, Switzerland — The Barry Callebaut Group's board of directors has appointed Peter Boone as the company's new chief executive officer, effective September 1, 2021. Peter Boone succeeds Antoine de Saint-Affrique, who, after successfully serving as CEO since October 1, 2015, will be stepping down at the end of the group’s fiscal year. Antoine de Saint-Affrique will be proposed for election to the board of directors at the next annual general meeting (AGM).

Peter BoonePeter BoonePeter Boone (born 1970, Dutch national) has been President Americas of Barry Callebaut since September 1, 2017, and a member of the Executive Committee since 2012. Under his leadership Region Americas achieved solid, profitable, volume growth and expanded its customer portfolio. Furthermore, in line with the Group’s ‘smart growth’ strategy, Peter Boone strategically built Barry Callebaut’s Specialties & Decorations business in North America through the acquisition of the ingredients division of Gertrude Hawk Chocolates. Peter Boone joined Barry Callebaut as Chief Innovation Officer in 2012. He assumed additional responsibility for Quality Assurance as of June 2013 and for Sustainability as of November 2015.

Before joining Barry Callebaut, Peter Boone worked with Unilever in a variety of global and regional roles, his final role being Chief Marketing Officer Australia and New Zealand. Peter Boone studied Business Administration at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Antoine de St AffriqueAntoine de St AffriquePatrick De Maeseneire, Chairman of the Board of Barry Callebaut, said: “Peter’s great track record in driving profitable growth, championing groundbreaking innovation, whilst implementing a solid quality culture, building new markets and segments, and, last but not least, his passion for sustainability, make him the perfect candidate to become the Group’s new CEO. As Barry Calleaut’s current President Americas and former Chief Innovation Officer, Peter’s appointment will ensure continuity and a smooth handover. The Board is very excited that Peter’s strategic talent and people skills can hit the ground running as the new fiscal year kicks off September 1, 2021.”

De Maeseneire continued: “Antoine is passing the baton to Peter after six years of passionate leadership, which is once more illustrated by the careful succession planning. Together with the Executive Team, Antoine’s ‘smart growth’ execution of the Group’s long term strategy successfully expanded Barry Callebaut’s global footprint across five continents. Under his leadership the Group strengthened its balance sheet and profitability through the rebalancing of the portfolio towards faster growing geographies and a broader range of high quality cocoa and chocolate ingredients. Furthermore, Antoine made Barry Callebaut the industry leader for sustainable cocoa and chocolate through the launch of Forever Chocolate, the Group’s acclaimed plan to make sustainable chocolate the norm by 2025. Overall, Antoine sharpened the Group’s business model, which allowed Barry Callebaut to successfully weather the unprecedented market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, placing the Group in pole position for continued growth.”

Steve WoolleySteve WoolleyPeter Boone will be succeeded as President Americas by Steve Woolley, currently Vice President and General Manager Global Accounts North America for Barry Callebaut. Woolley (born 1968, US national) has been with Barry Callebaut in a variety of sourcing and sales roles since 2006. Before joining Barry Callebaut, he worked at Russell Stover Chocolates, the third largest American chocolate manufacturer. Steve Woolley was appointed Vice President Sourcing for Region Americas in 2012, adding Strategic Initiatives to his responsibilities in 2017. In this role, he developed the e-commerce strategy as well as other strategic growth and value adding initiatives for the Region. Steve was subsequently appointed Vice President & General Manager Global Accounts in 2018, in which role he is responsible for the partnerships with the Group’s largest corporate customers in North America. Steve Woolley holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from University Missouri, Kansas City, US. (see separate bio for further details).

Effective July 1, 2021, the Board of Directors has appointed Jo Thys as President Asia Pacific, and as member of the Executive Committee. Jo Thys, currently serving as the Group’s Vice President Africa, Middle East and Turkey, is replacing Ben De Schryver, who became Barry Callebaut’s CFO, January 1, 2021. 

With annual sales of about $7.1 billion in fiscal year 2019/20, the Zurich- based Barry Callebaut Group is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products – from sourcing and processing cocoa beans to producing the finest chocolates, including chocolate fillings, decorations and compounds. The Group runs more than 60 production facilities worldwide and employs a diverse and dedicated global workforce of more than 12,000 people.

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