Netherlands: Heineken CEO van Boxmeer steps down after 15 years

He led Heineken's fortunes for 15 years. It's over now. On June 1, 2020, Jean-François van Boxmeer, 58, will step down from the Heineken leadership. Under his leadership, the Dutch company was able to increase its beer sales from 88 million hl to 241 million hl.

The Belgian started his spotless corporate career in 1984 as a trainee in production, administration and sales at the group's headquarters in the Netherlands. The career ladder led him from Rwanda (1987-1990), over Congo (1990-1996) to Poland, where he became General Manager at Zywiec. At the turn of the millennium, he became general manager of Heineken Italia. One year later, the group called him back to the Netherlands to become member of the executive  board with responsibilities in logistics and technical services. In 2005, van Boxmeer was appointed Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Heineken.

His successor, Dolf van den Brink, 46, has also a long track record with Heineken. He has been working the last 22 years for Heineken, currently as president Asia Pacific region and executive team member.

The Supervisory Board will nominate him to be appointed as member of the Executive Board at the company’s Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on 23 April 2020 per that same date, for a period of four years. Ensuring a smooth and effective transition, van Boxmeer will hand over his responsibilities to Dolf van den Brink on 1 June 2020.

Jean-Marc Huët, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, commented: “The Supervisory Board is grateful for the extraordinary contribution of Jean-François van Boxmeer in bringing Heineken to where it is today. Under his stewardship, the company more than doubled in size due to both strong organic growth and transformational deals that turned Heineken into the most global brewer, with iconic brands enjoyed by consumers on all continents. Not only did he deliver superior top-line growth and an excellent business performance, he also developed and nurtured a diverse and great talent pool across the world. He will leave behind a company excellently positioned to grow further. For all this, we owe Jean-François a heartfelt and huge thank you.”

Jean-François van Boxmeer commented: “It has been a great privilege and honour to lead Heineken and to work with so many great people from all over the world over the past three decades. I feel now is the right moment to hand over leadership to the next generation. I am proud of what we have achieved together and I would like to thank the Supervisory Board, my fellow Executive Board member Laurence Debroux and the Executive Team for their support and confidence. I would also like to thank all our employees, who make our business great every day.

It is my absolute pleasure to be handing the helm to Dolf. His ability to lead teams, grow our brands and business, in a responsible way, is nothing short of impressive. I am certain that under his leadership the company is in the best of hands to continue to grow. I look forward to work with Dolf in delivering a smooth transition.”

Dolf van den Brink is a proven strong business leader. Throughout his 22 year career at Heineken he has successfully built high performing teams in both developed and developing markets. He is currently a highly valued member of the Executive Team and successfully leads the Asia Pacific region as President. His successor will be announced in due course.

Jean-Marc Huët, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, commented: “The Supervisory Board conducted a thorough succession process and is very happy to unanimously nominate Dolf van den Brink as the new Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Heineken. He has proven to be an outstanding leader and member of the Executive Team, winning in our markets, building great teams and growing our brands. Coupled with his leadership experience in all four continents, Dolf van den Brink is the right CEO for the company in the next phase of growth and development, building on Jean-François van Boxmeer’s great legacy.”

Mrs. Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken noted: “My family and I are deeply grateful to Jean-François for all he has brought to Heineken during his entire career in the company but particularly for his impressive 15 year leadership as CEO. Under his leadership, Heineken has not only delivered impressive growth and shareholder value, but he also preserved and nurtured the heritage and identity of Heineken as a proud, independent and responsible global brewer during the most active era of consolidation that the brewing industry has undergone. During Jean-François’ almost 15 years as CEO, Heineken has completed over 30 billion euros of acquisitions across the globe, to leave Heineken today as the most global brewer.

We would also like to take this opportunity to express our support for the nomination of Dolf van den Brink. We are particularly proud of the open, transparent and fair process, which led to his nomination. My family and I are confident that his strong leadership and people skills, combined with his broad international experience, make him the ideal candidate to succeed Jean-François in the CEO role.”

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