Former Lactalis boss Michel Léonard has been appointed CEO of Groupe Doux, the French poultry processor that went into receivership earlier this month.

Léonard, who was Lactalis president for nine years until 2009, takes the helm at a company that filed for receivership with debts estimated at EUR430m (US$546m).

Volatile commodity costs and a troubled venture in Brazil are the two main reasons for Doux’s plight.

Doux is 80% owned by the Doux family through a holding company. French bank BNP Paribas owns the remaining shares.

Léonard, whose career includes stints at Danone and Bongrain, faces a challenging task in revitalising a company that indirectly supports an estimated 20,000 jobs among suppliers to its sites across France.

Click here for a feature on Doux published in the immediate aftermath of its move into receivership.

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