SWITZERLAND – Swiss chocolatier and confectionery company, Lindt & Sprüngli has named Adalbert Lechner as the successor of current CEO Dieter Weisskop who is to step down “towards the end of the year”. 

Weisskopf, who is retiring, has been involved in Lindt & Sprüngli’s management group for 27 years and was CFO before becoming CEO six years ago. 

 It is proposed he be elected to the company’s board of directors at its annual general meeting next month. 

“Lindt & Sprüngli is in very good shape, so this is an ideal time to hand over the leadership to new hands,” Weisskopf commented. 

“I look back with pride and much pleasure on my many years of service to the group and look forward to leading the company until towards the end of the year.”  

Weisskopf further noted that he was looking forward to accompanying Lindt & Sprüngli as a member of the board of directors while devoting himself to new entrepreneurial activities.

CEO-in-waiting Lechner joined Lindt & Sprüngli in 1993, first as CEO of the Austrian subsidiary before taking the same role in Germany.  

Under his leadership, the German arm has developed into the largest in the company. He has also been involved in developing the Lindor brand maker’s global retail/online division. 

“I am very much looking forward to my new role as CEO of the group and would like to thank the board of directors for their trust,” Lechner added. 

“Dieter Weisskopf hands over the company to me in excellent shape and expectations for the future development are high. I am happy to accept this challenge, as I can rely on an outstanding management team.” 

Reporting its 2021 results last week, Lindt & Sprüngli revealed that sales had increased 14.2% year-on-year to CHF4.58bn (US$4.89bn), as the company lapped a pandemic-hit 2020. On an organic basis, sales were up 13.3%.  

Operating profit for the Zurich based company rose 53.4% to CHF645m. Net income was 53.2% higher at CHF491m. 

The company also announced that it had suspended activities in Russia, where it has eight shops and employs 125 people, due to the country’s of its invasion of Ukraine. 

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