Danish Crown names new group CEO

Danish Crown has named Jais Valeur, from Arla Foods, as its new group CEO, taking over from Kjeld Johannesen, who has held the group CEO post for the past 27 years.

The company said Mr Valeur’s appointment followed a “thorough search” by the Board of Directors and that “he is the right person to take over from Mr Johannesen”.

“Mr Valeur comes from a position as Executive Vice President of Arla Foods,” said Danish Crown. “Except for a couple of stints with Royal Unibrew and the New Zealand Dairy Board, he has been with Arla Foods since 1986.”

Danish Crown’s chairman, Erik Bredholt, added: “Mr Valeur possesses in-depth knowledge of international sales, as well as a keen understanding of an ownership structure in which the group’s owners are also the suppliers of its raw materials.”

The chairman also said that “an injection of fresh blood is no bad thing for a large group”.

The departing CEO, Mr Johannesen, announced more than a year ago that he was planning to retire in spring 2016 after 45 years in the business.

“Mr Johannesen is a unique leader who has worked hard over the years to bring together the entire value chain, and very successfully so,” said Mr Bredholt. “He has very much had the interests of the owners at heart, while at the same time focusing on developing the group’s increasingly international sales.”

While Mr Johannesen (62) will continue with the company until April 1, 2016, Mr Valeur (52) is due to take up the position of group CEO by mid-November this year.

Headline image shows Kjeld Johannesen (left) and Jais Valeur (right)

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