French cheese maker Bel Group has announced plans to move towards a new form of management that would separate the functions of the chairman of the board of directors and the CEO.
Chairman of Bel Group’s board of directors and CEO, Antoine Fiévet, and the nomination committee has proposed the appointment of Cécile Béliot as group CEO. It will be up for a vote by the board of directors in 2022.
During the upcoming transitory period, Béliot will step in as group executive vice president and succeed Antoine Fiévet as chairman of the supervisory board of MOM, comprising brands such as Materne, Pom’Potes/GoGo squeeZ, and Mont-Blanc.
Separate governance has shown its strengths in many international companies and should allow both for short-term transformation and for long-term sustainable performance in an increasingly uncertain and complex world, the company said.
The move will allow Bel Group to continue its transformation, while maintaining the values carried by the Bel-Fiévet shareholder family since the creation of the company over 150 years ago.
During this transitory period, Béliot will progressively prepare the next steps for bringing together Bel and MOM teams and continue implementing the group’s strategy on its three complementary product families – dairy, plant-based, and fruit – in line with the innovation, internationalisation, and modernisation processes that she has already set in motion within Bel.
Since Béliot joined the group in 2018, she has overseen a shift in focus towards areas such as plant-based production and expansion into new markets.
She joined Bel Group as executive vice president in charge of group strategy, growth levers, and markets, and worked with Fiévet to implement a sustainable growth model.
Fiévet commented, "This governance shift is the fruit of a long-standing consideration, and I have wished to progressively set it up to guarantee the stability and sustainability of the group’s growth. As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of our iconic brand, The Laughing Cow, we are at a symbolic moment demonstrating our ability to take the long view.
"This is also a strategic moment, as we are accelerating on new growth territories: plant-based products and, through our MOM activities, the fruits segment."