MEXICO – Grupo Lala, Mexico’s leading dairy company has announced that Mauricio Leyva will be stepping down as the company’s Chief Executive Officer, effective December 31, 2019.

Grupo Lala has appointed former CEO and current member of its Board of Directors Arquímedes Celis Ordaz as the interim CEO. The company says that it has begun a process to identify and appoint a new CEO.

Mr. Celis, who retired as Lala’s CEO in 2015, first joined the Company in 2001. During his tenure as CEO, the company grew sales organically by 11.6% and LALA successfully executed its Initial Public Offering in 2013.

Mr. Celis has more than 37 years of experience in related senior management roles with extensive experience in sales, marketing and operations.

He also serves on the Board of Directors of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation-a global poultry and prepared foods company with a presence in the United States, Mexico and Europe -since 2019, among other relevant senior management roles.

Mauricio Leyva leaves the company after a fifteen months tenure as CEO following his appointment on September 1, 2018.

Leyva’s appointment was part of Grupo Lala’s executive leadership changes aimed at enabling the company to resume its growth and reactivate its profitability.

The company’s Board of Directors said that it maintains its firm support and endorsement of the company’s strategy currently in place and of the continued execution of previously announced related initiatives.

“Lala’s Board of Directors thanks Mr. Leyva for his contributions in support of the company’s continued evolution on various fronts and wishes him well in his future endeavors.” the company said in a statement.

According to a Financial Times report, the former president of AB InBev Middle Americas Zone will be joining privately held German conglomerate, JAB Holding Company as its senior adviser.

He will join the Luxembourg-based company, which mainly manages the fortune of billionaire Reimann family, to advise on expanding their beverages business, according to the report citing people with knowledge of the move.

JAB Holdings owns the Krispy Kreme, Pret A Manger, Core Hydration, Caribou Coffee, Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Einstein Noah, Panera Bread as well as Jacobs Douwe Egberts, which owns brands including Kenco, Tassimo, Senseo, and Moccona among others.