Godiva appoints president role for European and Middle East markets

Premium confectionery brand Godiva Godiva Chocolatier has appointed Olivier de Mendez as president for the UK, Middle East, North Africa and Turkey (Menat), as the business continues to expand in the region.

With his role, he will target the development of new markets and accelerating distribution channels, as well as building upon the company’s existing format of cafés.

Having gained 25 years in the retail sector, de Mendez, who succeeds Manoj Loya, who spent five years in the post, has led international businesses in delivering expansion, defining their brand strategy, ensuring operational excellence, and enhancing connections with consumers. Most recently, he was the managing director, France and International at Optical Discount, Afflelou Group, where he played an integral role in growing the business by driving innovation and making its products more accessible to consumers while retaining the brand’s prestige.

Born and raised in France, de Mendez holds a master’s degree from EDHEC Business School and is fluent in French and English. He and his family will be based in Dubai, where he lived earlier in his career.

“We are delighted to welcome Olivier and his tremendous leadership capability to our Godiva family,” said Annie Young-Scrivner, CEO of Godiva. “Through his years of experience working for large-scale, global brands, he has acquired a deep understanding of the UK and MENAT markets, which will be an incredible asset to us as we grow our business. Olivier is a truly inspirational leader with a clear commitment to developing future talent and a performance driven culture – a top priority for us at Godiva.”

“I am honoured and delighted to join the Godiva family and help lead this wonderful Belgian brand that is beloved around the world,” said de Mendez. “I believe that innovative and meaningful customer engagement and close collaboration across teams are paramount to building sustainable growth and success. I look forward to bringing my insights and knowledge to the company at a time of unprecedented growth for the business.”

“We are pleased to have Olivier join our team to continue the expansion of the brand throughout the UK, Middle East and Turkey,” said Abdulaziz Yamani, vice president of the Dallah Al Baraka Holding Co. “He brings extensive knowledge from his time working for renowned, international companies like Microsoft, Starbucks, and Chalhoub Group, and I am confident that he will help us realize our brand’s full potential in the region.”

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