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Vion Food Looks For New CEO

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Vion Food Looks For New CEO

Vion Food Looks For New CEO
January 28
11:59 2015

Michiel Herkemij has announced that he is leaving his position as CEO of Dutch meat producer Vion Food. Herkemij and the Board of Directors at Vion Food have mutually agreed that after a number of drastic measures implemented under Herkemij, it is time for a change of leadership at the company.

Last year, the CEO already let it be known that he is not a “meat man”. As an outsider, however, Herkemij managed to take a number of important decisions, including several major divestments. This turnaround has ensured greater financial stability at the company. In addition, Michiel Herkemij elaborated a number of strategic options. Now, in the view of the Board of Directors, it is time for a different style of leadership in order to further strengthen Vion Food.

Under Herkemij’s leadership, Vion Food has seen an increase in operating profits for the first time in years as a result of a more commercial and customer-orientated approach. A lead has also been taken in making the entire industry more transparent. Vion was the first company in the Netherlands to publish various inspection reports in full on its website, and also uses this method to publicise incidents that occur in business operations. Partly thanks to this emphasis on quality and food safety, Vion has been awarded virtually all the relevant quality labels used worldwide.

Herkemij says: “My work is done. I’m now going to return to my personal ambition; doing business with brands in an international environment.”

Vion Food and Herkemij will be using the following period of time to ensure that the transition to a successor will run as smoothly as possible. The Board of Directors has appointed Director Tom Heidman as interim CEO. He is temporarily withdrawing from the Board of Directors until a new CEO is appointed.

In 2013, Vion realized a turnover of €7 billion. Vion is not listed and has one single agricultural shareholder: the Dutch Southern Agriculture and Horticulture Organisation (ZLTO), which has approximately 10.000 members.

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