Magazine article Global Finance

No Longer All in the Family at Ferrero

Magazine article Global Finance

No Longer All in the Family at Ferrero

Article excerpt

Last year was particularly sweet for Italian confectionery maker Ferrero: the company closed the year with consolidated sales of euro10.3 billion ($11 billion), an 8.2% increase over 2015, surpassing for the first time the euro10 billion mark. The achievement was, to say the least, remarkable. Ferrero not only boosted its market share to 9.5%, right behind Nestlé at 10%, but managed to do so while all its competitors lost ground.

So it was all the more surprising to hear that the family scion Giovanni Ferrero will step down as chief executive. With Ferrero becoming executive chairman, leading the daily charge will be Lapo Civiletti, the first non-family CEO of the company founded in 1946 in Alba, Italy, by Pietro Ferrero, inventor of Nutella.

Born in Florence, a graduate of Milan's prestigious Bocconi School of Management, the 56-year-old Civiletti-who currently heads the company's central and eastern European operations-will take up his new job in September.

"Ferrero is a well-run company and the transition away from a family-based leadership appears to be well managed," says Jordan LeBel, professor of marketing and director of the John Molson Executive MBA Program in Montreal. …

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