SWITZERLAND – World’s leading chocolate and cocoa producer,Barry Callebaut has appointed Isabelle Esser as Chief Human Resources Officer and member of the executive committee effective February 1, 2019.
She will work to ensure a constructive people strategy in line with the company’s ‘smart growth’ business model, reporting directly to the CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique.
She joins the Cacao maker from Unilever where she served as Executive Vice President R&D Foods Transformation in the Global Foods & Refreshment Division.
There, she was responsible for leading the transformation of the Foods R&D into a more agile innovation engine and for developing talent, capabilities and the organization of the future.
She has more than 25 years of leadership experience and has held various management positions in Innovation and R&D with the Foods as well as the Home & Personal Care businesses of Unilever,championing and driving innovation strategies.
Isabelle, who holds a PhD in chemistry from Birmingham University in the UK, is said to have played a critical role in defining,developing and implementing the human capital, skills and capabilities needed to support the respective business strategy.
She also has a degree as ‘Ingénieur Civil en Sciences des Matériaux, Orientation Physique’ from Louvain-La-Neuve University in Belgium.
“Isabelle Esser has a proven track record as a change agent with a clear business focus and has demonstrated her ability to build strong relationships with business leaders across an organization.
Isabelle’s understanding of global businesses and experience in developing high-performing teams will be key to fueling our future growth because we can only grow the company as fast as we grow our people,” said Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of Barry Callebaut.
The company recently closed the transaction to acquire Burton’s Biscuit Company in the UK including chocolate manufacturing assets of the company in Moreton, Wirral, near Liverpool.
The transaction also involved a long-term agreement for the supply of over 12,000 tonnes of chocolate and compound per year to Burton’s Biscuit Company.