For the first time, the British is a third-party manager who runs the biscuit manufacturer. Verena Bahlsen supports him as an active partner.
“No family member of the next generation will join the operational management of the company.” That’s how Werner M. Bahlsen did in an interview with the Handelsblatt in January publicly clarified for the first time. That also applies to daughter Verena. The 27-year-old had the most ambitions for the top job of the biscuit manufacturer been assumed. Instead, the father and daughter looked together externally for a CEO.
The Bahlsen family has finally found what they are looking for. On April 7, Phil Rumbol was appointed the first non-family head of the traditional biscuit manufacturer. “This is an important moment for our company. We specifically looked for someone who shared the family’s vision and values, ”emphasized Werner Bahlsen.
The 70 year old had retired from top management to the Board of Directors in 2018. A management team was supposed to replace him, but managers like Michael Hahnel and most recently Daniela Mundler left the company again.
The patriarch continued to get involved, partly because business was not going as smoothly as hoped. Bahlsen denied that the company had accumulated losses for the second time in a row in 2019. However, the biscuit manufacturer from Hanover faces difficult times. There is hardly any growth for the market leader in Germany. Bahlsen is now hoping for opportunities abroad with a turnover of 545 million euros.
The Brit should help Rumbol. The 53-year-old looks back on 30 years of experience in consumer goods groups from Cadbury to Anheuser-Busch Inbev to Kraft. Most recently, he was a partner of the Mullenlowe brand consultancy, to which he sold his own agency in 2017. Rumbol has experience in transformation processes and brand development. This is also essential for Bahlsen.
Verena Bahlsen will work closely with Rumbol. Although she is not on the board of directors like her brothers Johannes and Andreas, she now takes on the role of an “active partner”. It should take care of the long-term strategy and not the day-to-day business. The second youngest of the four children took part in 2019 wet research statements about the Nazi past the company caused outrage.
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