FrieslandCampina CEO Schumacher named new Global Dairy Platform Chair, Anheuser-Busch shuffles leadership team

USA – Global Dairy Platform (GDP), a not-for-profit industry association representing the international dairy sector, has announced the appointment of Hein Schumacher, Chief Executive Officer of Royal FrieslandCampina, as Chair of its Board of Directors.

GDP membership, which includes more than 95 leading corporations, companies, associations, scientific bodies and other partners, has operations in more than 150 countries and collectively produces approximately 1/3 of all the world’s milk.

Schumacher succeeds Rick Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Dairy Farmers of America, who completed a four-year term as GDP Chair.

“I am honored to serve as Chair of GDP and build on the momentum that Rick, supported by the Board of Directors, has established.

“Rick’s leadership helped strengthen GDP’s role in ensuring dairy is recognized as relevant and a vital part of a globally sustainable food system,” Schumacher said.

Schumacher highlighted that one of his main focuses will be launch of the ground-breaking Pathways to Dairy Net Zero initiative.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Hein for a number of years and there is no doubt he is the right person to guide GDP now. The future is bright for GDP and the global dairy sector,” said Smith.


Also serving on GDP’s board are Fonterra Co-operative Group Chief Executive Officer Miles Hurrell; Arla Foods Chief Executive Officer Peder Tuborgh; China Mengniu Dairy Company Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Minfang (Jeffery) Lu; Meiji Holdings Co. Limited President Kazuo Kawamura; Leprino President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Durkin; International Dairy Federation President Piercristiano Brazzale; and Saputo Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lino Saputo, Jr. Smith remains a GDP board member.

Additional governance members include Dr. Margrethe Jonkman, Deputy Chair of the GDP Board and Chair of the GDP Operational Committee, Corporate Director Research & Development, Royal FrieslandCampina; Tim Leviny, Senior Vice President, Land O’Lakes; Hanne Sondergaard, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Marketing & Innovation, Arla Foods; Kelvin Wickham, Chief Operating Officer, Fonterra Co-operative Group; Jay Waldvogel, Senior Vice President of Strategy and International Development, Dairy Farmers of America; and Kaoru Koide, Director and General Manager of Meiji Holdings Co. Limited.

Anheuser-Busch undertakes C-suite changes

Meanwhile, Anheuser-Busch is shuffling its commercial leadership in an effort to bolster its consumer-first strategy, which entails using customer data to inform how best to connect with them, per the company’s most recent earnings call.

Its current U.S. Chief Strategy Officer Benoit Garbe will steer the company’s marketing efforts across its wide-ranging beer and seltzer portfolio.

Garbe previously held positions at Kantar and Diageo and will be replacing Marcel Marcondes, who will transition to a new role within the company that has not yet been revealed.

The changes to Anheuser-Busch’s commercial leadership team aim to strengthen the company’s consumer-first strategy, which has hinged on a deeper reliance on customer data.

With a focus on premiumization, DTC initatives and digital transformation, Anhueser-Busch is using internal groups like its Draftline agency and e-commerce platform BEES to meet consumers alongside their changing habits.

Kyle Norrington, current president of AB InBev-owned beer Labatt in Canada and soon-to-be U.S. chief commercial officer, will oversee sales and marketing in the U.S., as the brand attempts to cater to consumers across an increasingly fragmented marketplace.

Rounding out the executive shuffle is Simon Wuestenberg, the new U.S. chief sales officer. Wuestenberg, currently the president of distributor business unit AB One, replaces Brendan Whitworth, who was promoted to Zone President North America and chief executive of Anheuser-Busch in an executive shuffle.

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