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JAB announces leadership changes and retirement of chairman

From the January 2019 issue.

On 14 January, JAB Holding announced the retirement of its Chairman Bart Becht during 2019.

Senior Partner Peter Harf and CEO Olivier Goudet will continue to lead JAB and oversee its investment strategy. Consumer industry veterans Fabien Simon, Ricardo Rittes and Jacek Szarzynski will also join the JAB Partnership leadership team, where they will play key roles in continuing JAB’s strategy of long-term value creation.

“Bart has been a valued member of the JAB team for many decades,” Harf says. “Having worked with him since our days at RB (Reckitt Benckiser), I will miss our day-to-day interactions on a personal level but wish him all the best during his well-deserved retirement.”

JAB Holding Company, with sister company JAB Consumer Fund, has controlling stakes in Keurig Dr Pepper, Jacobs Douwe Egberts (JDE), Peet's Coffee & Tea, Caribou Coffee Company, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, and Scandinavian coffee chain Espresso House.

“I deeply appreciate Bart’s dedication to working with our portfolio companies over the years and thank him for his contribution to JAB,” Goudet says. “At the same time, we are excited to further strengthen our team with Fabien, Ricardo and Jacek, all of whom have impeccable track records of long- term shareholder value creation in the consumer industry.”

Fabien Simon will become Partner and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of JAB. Simon spent four years at JDE, where he oversaw the integration of Douwe Egberts and the coffee business of Mondelez to create JDE. Prior to working at JDE, Simon spent 14 years at Mars, holding many leadership roles including in Petcare and in the Asia/Pacific regions.

Ricardo Rittes will join the JAB Partnership and lead expansion into emerging markets by opening a new office in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Rittes has spent 14 years at Anheuser Busch Inbev (ABI), during which time he was Global Treasurer and executed over US$75 billion in financings, including the US$45 billion acquisition financing for Anheuser Busch. He also served as CFO of Ambev, a publicly listed company controlled by ABI, where JAB says he significantly improved the financial profile of the business.

Jacek Szarzynski will join JAB as Lead Operating Partner for JAB’s newly created Pret Panera Holding Company, where he will be responsible for the overall long-term success of the platform. Szarzynski joins JAB after a 24-year career at Mars, where he held several leadership positions in a number of major businesses, including Global Petcare, Global Food and Global Drinks.

"After almost 40 years in the branded consumer business, I have decided it is time to refocus my activities and retire,” Becht says.

“It has been a tremendous privilege and pleasure to work with JAB and the many people within its portfolio companies and I wish them continued success.”

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