Barry Callebaut Reveals Management Changes, Woolley To Lead Americas

Steve Woolley

Chicago — Barry Callebaut AG‘s board of directors has appointed Steve Woolley president Americas, and a member of the Executive Committee, succeeding Peter Boone, who is becoming CEO of the Barry Callebaut Group. The transitions are effective September 1.

Woolley, currently vice-president & general manager global accounts North America, has been with Barry Callebaut in a variety of sourcing and sales roles since 2006. Before joining the company he worked at Russell Stover Chocolates. He was appointed vice-president sourcing for Region Americas in 2012, adding strategic initiatives to his responsibilities in 2017. In this role, he developed the ecommerce strategy as well as other strategic growth and value adding initiatives for the region.

Peter Boone

As CEO, Boone succeeds Antoine de Saint-Affrique, who has served in that role since October 2015 and will be stepping down at the end of the Group’s fiscal year. Boone has been president Americas of Barry Callebaut since September 2017, and a member of the executive committee since 2012.

The company notes that in line with the Group’s ‘smart growth’ strategy, Boone built Barry Callebaut’s Specialties & Decorations business in North America through the acquisition of the ingredients division of Gertrude Hawk Chocolates. He joined Barry Callebaut as chief innovation officer in 2012, assumed responsibility for quality assurance in 2013 and for sustainability in 2015.

“Peter’s great track record in driving profitable growth, championing groundbreaking innovation, whilst implementing a solid quality culture, building new markets and segments, and, last but not least, his passion for sustainability, make him the perfect candidate to become the Group’s new CEO,” says Patrick De Maeseneire, chairman of the board of Barry Callebaut. “Peter’s appointment will ensure continuity and a smooth handover.”

Before joining Barry Callebaut, Boone worked at Unilever in a variety of global and regional roles, his final role being CMO Australia and New Zealand.

“Antoine is passing the baton to Peter after six years of passionate leadership, which is once more illustrated by the careful succession planning. Antoine made Barry Callebaut the industry leader for sustainable cocoa and chocolate through the launch of Forever Chocolate, the Group’s acclaimed plan to make sustainable chocolate the norm by 2025. Overall, Antoine sharpened the Group’s business model, which allowed Barry Callebaut to successfully weather the unprecedented market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, placing the Group in pole position for continued growth, says De Maeseneire.

In other appointments, Jo Thys becomes president Asia Pacific, and a member of the executive committee. Thys, currently serving as the Group’s vice-president Africa, Middle East and Turkey, is replacing Ben De Schryver, who became Barry Callebaut’s CFO in January. 

Thys has been vice-president cocoa Africa since September 2017, with additional responsibility for Africa, Middle East and Turkey since September 2020, and is currently based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Under his leadership the volume of locally processed cocoa beans was enlarged and the sourcing activities were expanded into Nigeria, the company notes. In addition, he embedded sustainability into the core of the local business strategy, with a particular focus on the implementation of the Group’s sustainability projects with cocoa farmers in West Africa.