FRANCE – French multinational cheese producer Bel Group has named Cécile Béliot as its new chief executive officer (CEO) effective May 2021.

Béliot comes to the position following Bel Group’s decision to separate the roles of chairman and CEO in an effort to develop three areas of healthy snacking.

The newly created chairman role will be headed by the company’s former Chairman and CEO, Antoine Fiévet.

Fiévet,  a graduate degree from Université Paris II Panthéon Assas, is a veteran executive at Bel Group having served the company since 2009 when he was first appointed to the position.

“This evolution seeks to allow Bel Group to continue to lead its transformation, while perpetuating the vision and values carried by the Bel-Fiévet shareholder family since the creation of the company over 150 years ago,” Bel Group said in a statement.

The company said that they had prepared Béliot for the role since she joined Bel as Executive Vice President in charge of the Group’s Strategy, Growth levers, and Markets.

In Béliot’s new role as CEO, she will be responsible for executing the company’s vision and managing its strategy and performance.

Prior to Bel Group, Béliot worked at Danone, where she held roles as managing director and general manager for Danone Waters in France and the Benelux region.

Since Cécile Béliot joined the Group in 2018, she has defined within the Executive Committee the pillars of the strategy for a sustainable growth model and has led alongside Antoine Fiévet the deployment of this strategy.

Fiévet said: “These four years of close and effective collaboration with Cécile Béliot have fostered a real relationship of trust. In a world that is becoming increasingly complex, I am deeply convinced that the continuation of our project requires the establishment of a complementary duo at the head of the company.”

 The Bel Group, with its portfolio of iconic and popular brands, which was recently expanded with the completion of the acquisition of MOM (Pom’Potes/GoGo squeeZ, Materne, Mont-Blanc, etc) has many assets to establish itself as the leader in healthy snacking.

Fiévet sees Cécile as the leader that the group needs to deploy its strategy, innovate and accelerate the sustainable growth project that we are developing for Bel.

Separating CEO and Chairman roles 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, according to Bel.

Bel becomes the latest multinational food company to separate its chairman and  CEO roles. Its dairy counterpart Danone in 2021 separated in Chairman and CEO role in an effort to strengthen its executive structure.

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