Nutella maker Ferrero appoints first non-family boss

Confectionery giant Ferrero’s new ceo Lapo Civiletti will commence his role in September

Confectionery manufacturer Ferrero Group, known for producing Nutella hazelnut spread and Kinder chocolate, has appointed its first non-family ceo as part of a management restructure.

Lapo Civiletti, currently head of central and eastern European operations, will take on the role from September 1 2017.

It will enable current ceo Giovanni Ferrero to move to the more strategic role of executive chairman, where he will focus on innovation and potential new directions for the business, which also makes Ferrero Rocher and Tic Tac mints.

Ferrero, who is son of the late chairman Michele Ferrero, and grandson of founder Pietro Ferrero, will “define and lead new pathways to enhance the Group’s growth and globalisation, in addition to guiding the strategic functions and boards/committees of the Group”, the company said.

Short and mid-term performance

Civiletti, who will focus on the short and mid-term performance of the company, was chosen for his “business acumen, vision and mission-driven orientation”, Giovanni Ferrero said.

“I am very confident that Lapo will ensure continuity in reaching business goals and effectively support the Group in its growth objective,” he added.

Describing it as a “momentous time” for the company, Civiletti said he was “absolutely dedicated to pursuing Mr Ferrero’s strategic direction, side-by-side with him, with a very talented leadership team and in collaboration with all my Ferrero colleagues around the world”.

Further appointments as part of the restructure included: ambassador Francesco Paolo Fulci as head of the institutional affairs, Briano Olivares as head of strategic R&D; Aldo Uva as head of the open innovation; and Marco Borghesi as chief strategy officer. 

‘Boost our company’s growth’

“I am sure that the new governance will boost our company’s growth while staying true to our roots,” Ferrero said.

“This will be the essential step to combine ‘the best of our worlds’: our distinctive entrepreneurship, our managerial excellence and the quality of all our people – the perfect blend for success.”

Ferrero has been on the acquisition trail in recent times. Last month, it bought US confectionery firm Fannie May for $115M (£92M).

In December 2016, it bought biscuit brands Delacre and DeliChoc from United Biscuits for an undisclosed sum. And in 2015, it acquired 30% of UK chocolatier Thorntons for £112M.

Thorntons, meanwhile, has recalled its Dark Chocolate Easter Egg with a Personalised Iced Message, because the icing contained milk that was not mentioned on the label.

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