Wessanen, the Dutch food group, today (27 February) admitted that differences among its top management over the future of the company had led to the departure of its CEO.

Earlier this week, Ad Veenhof left Wessanen just a day before the company was due to issue its annual results for 2008.

A spokesperson for Wessanen told just-food that there had been strategic differences between Veenhof and the company's supervisory board. "There was a difference of opinion about the strategy of the company," she said.

Upon publishing its 2008 numbers on Wednesday, Wessanen also cancelled its final dividend, a move that is rumoured to have been opposed by Veenhof. The Wessanen spokesperson, however, declined to comment.

Wessanen, which owns food businesses on both sides of the Atlantic, is considering selling off American Beverage Corp., its US drinks unit.

The spokesperson refused to be drawn on when Wessanen would make a final decision but hinted that any proceeds from a sale could be used to fund acquisitions in Europe.

"If we sell ABC for a good price, part of that money will be spent to better our balance sheet and we will have the opportunity to look at acquisitions, which would be focused on Europe," she said.