Neuhaus CEO Ignace Van Doorselaere to stand down, with Isabel Baert appointed new business leader

Belgian premium confectionery brand Neuhaus has confirmed that its CEO, Ignace Van Doorselaere, is set to step down this November, to be succeeded by Isabel Baert, writes Neill Barston.

The company, which traces its roots back to founder Jean Neuhaus in 1857, and is credited with a major sector breakthrough with the development of pralines in 1912, has gone on to gain international acclaim for the quality of its confectionery.

As the business posted on social media, Doorselaere, is leaving the business in a strong position after seven years in post, to accept a role outside of the sector.

His successor takes up the post on November 1, having been a member of the Neuhaus executive committee since 2017. She was recently responsible for the European sales channels and worldwide marketing.Commenting on his decision, Ignace Van Doorselaere said: “I have made a positive choice for a new challenge, not a negative one in wanting to leave Neuhaus. It have been interesting years in which we strengthened the company, both in numbers as well as in content. I am very happy that Isabel will succeed me as it guarantees a continuity and undoubtedly a further improvement of the road we have been walking over the last 7 years. She will do an excellent job.”

Speaking on her appointment, Isabel Baert: “I am grateful that the shareholders entrust me with the keys of the house. We will continue to build the company on its existing foundations. I am convinced that with the drive and commitment of our people we will succeed in the ongoing journey towards perpetuity. I have been privileged with Ignace not only as a leader but also as a mentor. This has been of tremendous value as it has equipped me to take on this new responsibility with passion.”

As the company added, the transition ‘must be seen as a natural next step in a normal evolution of leadership change’ and underlined that its strategy as a business will not alter, with a long-term focus will continue to hinge on three key pillars: organic top-line growth based on strong margins, productivity improvements and retention of committed talent.

Chairman Valérie Paquot added: “I would like to thank Ignace for what has been achieved, but also for the way we worked together and wish him success in his next challenge. We fully share his confidence in Isabels leadership. In appointing Isabel, we voted for a continuation of the current strategic road and for a strong and authentic personality. A journey into perpetuity is never over and faces many challenges, which she will handle with confidence.”

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