The third generation Italian family behind chocolate brands Nutella, Kinder eggs and Tic Tac, has announced its first non-family chief executive as part of its new global expansion plan.
The Ferrero Group said Giovanni Ferrero (pictured), grandson of founder Pietro Ferrero and son of the late chairman Michele Ferrero, will move from chief executive to executive chairman on 1 September, 2017. He will focus on “long-term strategies, new business directions and breakthrough innovation, whilst assuring continuity in the company’s culture and values,” the group said.
High ranked group veteran Lapo Civiletti was promoted by Ferrero to assume the role of chief executive and will be among the five heads who report to the executive chairman.
“I am very confident that Mr Lapo Civiletti will ensure continuity in reaching business goals and effectively support the group in its growth objectives,” Ferrero said.
“He has been chosen for his business acumen, vision and mission-driven orientation whilst truly fostering the Ferrero culture and core values.”
Civiletti was tasked with focusing on achieving short and mid-term results. He said the group was ready to capitalise on the “new opportunities” available.
“I am absolutely dedicated to pursuing Mr Ferrero’s strategic direction, side-by-side with him, with a very talented leadership team and in collaboration with all my Ferrero colleagues around the world.”
Ferrero International is the parent company of the Ferrero Group. The company as of 2015 operated 22 manufacturing planets—three as social enterprises—to make its fair trade products in more than 160 countries.
The group ended its financial year on 31 August, 2015 with a consolidated turnover of €9.5 billion ($10.2 billion), up 13.4% on the previous year.
Piera and Pietro Ferrero turned their pastry shop into a factory in the 1940s. The family was the first Italian manufacturer to open international production sites and offices in confectionary after World War II.
The group’s new shake-up to take on the competitive global confectionary market follows its acquisitions in 2015 of Turkish hazelnut company Oltan and the British chocolate company Thorntons, both former family businesses.