• Ex-Sara Lee exec Vaesen named PinguinLutosa CEO
  • To join firm in November
  • Will reshape business after likely Lutosa sale

Former Sara Lee executive Marleen Vaesen will become chief executive of Belgium-based produce group PinguinLutosa.

Vaesen will take the role next month, replacing Hein Deprez, PinguinLutosa's controlling shareholder. The company said yesterday (9 October) Deprez will continue to "exercise an active role in determining the strategy of PinguinLutosa".

The group said Vaesen would look to continue integrating its recent acquisitions of canned food firm Scana Noliko and the frozen vegetable business of French co-op CECAB.

It added Vaesen would look to drive organic growth through "commercial initiatives and product development" with a "clear focus" on international markets.

However, she will also face reshaping the business after the likely sale of Lutosa, the group's potato division.

The company said last month it had signed a deal "in principle" to sell Lutosa to a mystery buyer. It refused to name the buyer but said it expects to complete the acquisition by the end of the year. Reports in Belgium have claimed ConAgra Foods' Lamb Weston division is the buyer.

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Regulated information 

EMBARGO 09/10/2012-08:15   

PINGUINLUTOSA NV ? Romenstraat 3 ? 8840 WESTROZEBEKE ? Belgium

Tel. +32 (0)51 788 200 ? Fax +32 (0)51 778 382 ? www.pinguinlutosa.com 

Press release 

PinguinLutosa: Marleen Vaesen is appointed as CEO of PinguinLutosa 

Marleen Vaesen is appointed as CEO of PinguinLutosa

As from the 1st of November onwards Marleen Vaesen (1959) will be appointed as CEO of PinguinLutosa. 

She will take over the position of Hein Deprez, who was CEO of PinguinLutosa to date. Hein Deprez will subsequently, as president of the Strategic Committee and controlling shareholder, exercise an active role in determining the strategy of PinguinLutosa. 

Marleen Vaesen was formerly active at Sara Lee. In 1999, she became General Manager of Douwe Egberts Belgium, a subsidiary of Sara Lee. She had the lead over the totality of activities in Belgium: retail, out of home and the coffee roasting factory. In 2004 she was appointed as Senior Vice President Global Brand Coffee & Tea and she was responsible for the strategic planning and innovations. As from 2006 onwards, in her role of Senior Vice President at Sara Lee Coffee & Tea, she became responsible for the sales and financial results of a dozen of European countries with a turnover of approximately €700 million. 

She started her career at Procter & Gamble in 1982, where she had different functions in marketing.  Her last position was European Marketing Director, responsible for New Business Development in Western Europe. 

Marleen Vaesen obtained a License in applied economic sciences at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, an MBA from the Univerity in Chicago and an Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. 

Marleen Vaesen is also Director of Roularta Media Group NV and Van de Velde NV. 

The appointment of Marleen Vaesen is important to continue to strengthen the position of PinguinLutosa in the market. On the one hand by further consolidating the acquisitions of Scana Noliko / CECAB Activity and, on the other hand, by creating organic growth through commercial initiatives and product development, and with clear focus on international markets.  

As previously communicated, negotiations regarding the sale of Lutosa (potato products division) are ongoing. These negotiations are expected to be finalized by the end of the calendar year. 

Original source: PinguinLutosa