Tom Snick departs Guylian CEO role

Snick was brought in by Guylian in 2021 with a brief to shake things up at the Belgium-based chocolate maker.

Andy Coyne March 21 2024

Belgium-based chocolatier Guylian is without a CEO after the departure of Tom Snick after three years in the role.

In a social media post, Snick confirmed his departure and described his tenure at Guylian as “one of the most intense and joyful chapters of my working life”.

When approached about succession plans, and asked whether he might be taking the chief executive role, Kevin Lee, managing director of the upmarket confectioner best known for its Guylian Sea Shell Chocolates, said: “All options are being studied by headquarters and it is not possible to give more detailed information at this point.”

Whether Snick’s departure was his own choice is unclear. When asked, a senior Guylian executive told Just Food: “It's hard to say but the decision was made by the board.”

Snick, a Dutch national who had previously worked for Italian pasta and sauces maker Barilla, yogurt maker Yoplait and consumer goods giant Unilever, was brought in by Guylian in 2021 with a brief to shake things up.

In a 2022 interview with Just Food, Snick said he was engaged in a “thorough modernisation” programme, adding: “There was a sense of urgency to make this turnaround.”

He said: “There is an enormous amount of potential at the company but it had become dusty. It had not been managed that well on the marketing side.”

In Snick's social media post announcing his departure, he claimed to have succeeded in his turnaround task.

“In three years, we managed the complete relaunch of the Guylian brand with new design, 100% Fairtrade chocolate, significant reduction of our ecological footprint and back to the founders’ original recipe,” he said.

“We developed a great new communication platform, launched Dark Seashells, tripled our duty-free business and set the fundaments in all core countries for solid growth. We defined the innovation roadmap for the future and revisited the industrial set-up accordingly. And we upgraded all systems and processes enabling us to smoothly run the business.

“The company and brand are now back in good shape to confront the challenges on the outside markets while having a great perspective of solid and sustainable growth.”

Guylian was established by Belgian chocolatier Guy Foubert in 1958. It has been owned by South Korea’s Lotte Confectionery since 2008.

Turnover in 2021 was EUR70m ($77.6m at the time).

Guylian, which employs 175 people across business units in Belgium, the UK and Germany, sells its products across four continents in more than 100 countries.

It produces up to 75 tons of chocolate every day at its domestic facility at

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