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World's Leading Chocolate Manufacturer Names New CEO After Salmonella Outbreak

World's Leading Chocolate Manufacturer Names New CEO After Salmonella Outbreak

The Swiss-based firm, which supplies such food industry giants as Hershey, Nestle and Unilever, said it was appointing Peter Feld to replace Peter Boone, who stepped down for personal reasons after less than two years at the helm.
Barry Callebaut announced Wednesday a new chief executive as the world's largest industrial cocoa and chocolate manufacturer struggles to move on from a salmonella outbreak at a facility and faces inflationary headwinds.

The Swiss-based firm, which supplies such food industry giants as Hershey, Nestle and Unilever, said it was appointing Peter Feld to replace Peter Boone, who stepped down for personal reasons after less than two years at the helm.

Feld has experience in consumer goods and market research firms and also served as chief executive of the Jacobs Holding company, the main shareholder in Barry Callebaut.

Baader Helvea brokerage analyst Andreas von Arx said the appointment of Feld when Jacobs Holding has been reducing its stake in Barry Callebaut raised questions.

"One wonders if this should be taken as signal that the major shareholder is concerned with the developments," he said, noting also the immediate replacement of the outgoing CEO.

Barry Callebut shares fell nearly two percent after the announcement, but finished the day up 0.8 percent.

The company's half-year figures, which run from September through February, disappointed analysts, with sales rising by just 3.7 percent. The recovery of sales volumes struggled following a salmonella outbreak at a Belgian facility.
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