Feike Sijbesma steps down as Royal DSM’s chief executive officer

DENMARK – Royal DSM, a global science-based company in nutrition and health and has announced that Feike Sijbesma will be stepping down as the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) after almost 13 years in the position.

Feike Sijbesma will hand over his responsibilities to his Managing Board colleagues Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze as Co-CEO’s on February 15, 2020

However, he will remain employed by DSM securing a further smooth transition in the coming five months, until May 1, 2020.

During his tenure, DSM witnessed a robust growth and significant transformation from a bulk chemicals company into one which focuses on nutrition, health and sustainable living while generating total shareholders return of about 400%.

Rob Routs, Chairman Supervisory Board said: “We are very grateful for Feike’s tremendous contribution to DSM during his 32-year career at the company and most specifically his last 13 years as CEO.

“Feike has demonstrated that a company can deliver financial and sustainability returns while creating value and purpose for all stakeholders. We all wish Feike the very best for his future.”

Feike commented: “It has been a huge privilege to serve DSM for such a long time. I am deeply grateful to our Board, all my DSM colleagues and business partners for working closely together and for their enormous commitment and contribution.

“I also thank our customers and shareholders for their trust and loyalty. I am humbled for having been given the opportunity to serve society by creating value on three dimensions simultaneously: people, planet and profit.

“I will announce new engagements at a later moment and remain passionate driving solutions on global topics.

“I am proud that the Supervisory Board has chosen my Managing Board colleagues Geraldine and Dimitri, as my successors.

“Their appointment is well deserved and reflects the collaborative nature of our business, and I wish them every success for the future.”

Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze, will run the company in a dual leadership as Co-CEO’s.

Together they will maintain the focus on business performance, financial discipline, innovation, sustainability, and people, as DSM continues its journey.

The company said that the dual leadership structure is rooted in the long history of collaboration between them and is expected to create a strong basis for continued profitable growth.

“The Supervisory Board has seen them working together and believes the Co-CEO structure will ensure the continued successful development of DSM,” Rob Routs said.

“Together, Geraldine and Dimitri have a wealth of knowledge and experience which they are keen to continue to combine to ensure DSM will remain a leading company.”

In conjunction with their Co-CEO role, Geraldine Matchett will retain her responsibilities as CFO and Dimitri de Vreeze will hold the COO responsibilities. 

As Co-CEO’s, Geraldine will focus on financial management and capital markets communication, capital allocation, talent and culture development, as well as digital strategy and new ways of working.

Dimitri will focus on operational delivery, SHE, customer centricity, driving growth and efficiency as well as innovation and R&D programs.

Jointly they will be accountable for the performance of the company and will drive the purpose led, performance driven strategy and M&A agenda.

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