• Colzani has worked for Unilever since 1984
  • Replaces Massimo Potenza who left last year
  • Potenza clashed with owners over strategy 

Unilever executive Claudio Colzani is to become CEO of Barilla, the Italian food group.

Colzani, who has spent 28 years at Unilever, will take the reins at Barilla in October, it was announced today (22 June).

He replaces Massimo Potenza, who left Barilla last year amid disagreement with the three brothers that own the company over the future direction of the business.

One of Colzani's first tasks will be to oversee the possible sale of Barilla's German baking business Lieken.

Barilla announced this week it was putting Lieken on the block. As with other baking businesses in Europe, input costs have hit margins at Lieken.

Show the press release


Claudio Colzani Appointed New CEO of the Barilla Group

Unilever’s Senior Executive Will Lead the Italian Company as of October      

Parma, June 22nd 2012 – The Barilla Group has appointed Claudio Colzani as its new Chief Executive Officer. The appointment will be effective starting from October.

Mr. Colzani, a veteran of Unilever PLC, started his career as a sales trainee in Italy in 1984. Over the past decade, he has held senior roles around the world, from chairman of Unilever Bestfoods in Brazil, to chief executive and chairman of Unilever’s  French unit. He is currently Chief Customer Officer for Unilever in the United States.

"We're delighted to have Mr. Colzani on board. His broad international experience and thorough understanding of consumers, coupled with his deep knowledge of products and markets, will add great value to the company," said Guido Barilla, Chairman of the Barilla Group.

"We're certain that Mr. Colzani will be able to successfully implement our strategy, which is to focus on continued  growth of our pasta, sauces and ready meals businesses worldwide -- from the Americas to the Far East – and to strengthen our bakery business in Italy and other key European branded markets," Mr. Barilla added.


Original source: Barilla