The Supervisory Board of Koninklijke Friesland Foods N.V. intends to appoint Cees ’t Hart (49) to the position of Chief Executive Officer of Friesland Foods on 1 May 2008. In addition, he is envisaged to become Chief Executive Officer of the merged dairy company Friesland Campina.
Since 2006, Cees ’t Hart has been Senior Vice President Marketing Operations at Unilever Plc./N.V. In that position, he is responsible for implementing, among other, the Unilever Foods & Ice Cream strategy in Europe and he reports directly to Unilever’s Executive Committee. ’t Hart has enjoyed an international career at Unilever. Among other things, he was responsible for Unilever’s activities in Italy and Poland, and for its foods business in Hungary. He has also served in the position of Vice President Foods North & South East Asia Pacific. He started his career at Unilever in 1984 as a management trainee, after which he fulfilled several management positions in marketing, human resources and general management for various product groups.
’t Hart studied social sciences at Leiden University from 1979 to 1984, where he specialized in organisational studies.
Sybren Attema, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Koninklijke Friesland Foods N.V. comments: “‘t Hart has extensive experience in foods, marketing and organisational development. In various international positions, he has shown the ability to respond well to changing market conditions and to lead organisations in an inspiring manner. We are convinced that, with the intended appointment of ’t Hart, we have found an excellent candidate for the position of Chief Executive Officer, initially of Friesland Foods and, if the merger with Campina goes ahead, of Friesland Campina.
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Board of Management of Friesland Foods. Under the leadership of acting President Theo Spierings, it has successfully steered the company through very turbulent times by adjusting the corporate strategy and organisation, based on our long-term plan Vision 2015, responding proactively to major changes in the marketplace, and taking the initiative to start merger talks with Campina. All of these projects have been tackled with enormous vigour and dynamism.”
In December 2007, Friesland Foods and Campina announced they were involved in exploratory talks on a merger between the two dairy cooperatives and companies. At present, teams from both companies are making preparations for drafting a merger agreement. It is expected that this agreement will be submitted to Friesland Foods’ General Meeting, Campina’s Members’ Council and the works councils of both companies in May 2008, after which the competition authorities will have to pass judgment on the intended merger.
A request for advice on the appointment will be submitted to Friesland Foods’ Central Works Council.