Kenneth Keller to take charge at B&G as Cécile Béliot assumes role as chief executive of Bel Group

US – American holding company for branded foods, B&G Foods has appointed Kenneth “Casey” Keller as its next president and CEO, effective 14 June 2021.

Keller succeeds interim president and chief executive, David Wenner, who took over the roles on an interim basis after Kenneth Romanzi stepped down as group president and CEO at the end of last year.

B&G said in a statement that following the appointment of Keller, Werner will assume his former responsibilities as director of the company.

Most recently, Keller served as president and CEO of JDE Peet’s where he led the merger of Jacobs Douwe Egberts and Peet’s Coffee.

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He also saw the €2.25 billion (US$2.75bn) initial public offering of the combined company in May last year.

Prior to the merger, Keller was the president and CEO of Peet’s Coffee and has also served as global president of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, a subsidiary of Mars, and as president of Alberto Culver USA, as well as in roles at the H.J. Heinz Company.

“I am incredibly excited to be joining B&G Foods and its very talented and dedicated workforce. We will continue to focus on organic and acquisition growth, innovation, operational improvements, cost reduction efforts and the creation of stockholder value,” said Keller.

Bel Group promotes Béliot to chief executive

Cécile Béliot

Meanwhile, The Bel Group has appointed Cécile Béliot as chief executive and further made public its intention to separate the functions of chairman and CEO.

The company said that the splitting of the roles marks a new stage in the governance of Bel, allowing the company to continue implementing its strategy regarding three product families – dairy, plant-based and fruit. 

The implementation of a separate governance system will take place in 2022, in which Béliot’s appointment will be put before a vote by the board of directors.

Béliot joined Bel as executive vice president in 2018 and will succeed Antoine Fiévet as chairman of MOM – consisting of fruit compotes and dessert brands Materne, Pom’Potes, GoGo squeeZ and Mont Blanc during the upcoming  transitory period.

Bel’s current CEO, Antoine Fiévet, will remain as chairman following the transition.

Bel says this type of governance has shown its strengths in many international companies and should allow both for short-term transformation and for long-term sustainable performance.

It follows a similar move by Danone which saw the company separate the dual chairman and CEO roles, and Emmanuel Faber depart from both positions.

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