Bernard Deryckere, who was the man behind Belgian dairy company Alpro’s international success, will leave the company after sixteen years. Apparently, he will leave because of differences of opinion with its new owner, Danone.
“In a mutual understanding”
The official statement is that Bernard Deryckere will leave “in a mutual understanding”. “We have taken this decision to fully exploit Alpro’s growth potential. The company is ready for a phase of increased growth”, spokesperson Ann De Jaeger told De Tijd. A successor has already been appointed, Belgian Sven Lamote, who has already been part of Alpro’s board for three years.
According to several sources, he would succeed Deryckere in December. The speed of the announcement, which came as a complete surprise, indicates that the relationship between Deryckere and Danone was “rather cumbersome”.
This is despite Alpro’s wonderful achievements under Deryckere’s guidance. Vandemoortele sold Alpro to American White Wave in 2009, after several years of increased debt. Danone acquired it in April 2017 and the new owner and the CEO did not see eye to eye ever since.
The company employs 1,100 people and 850 of those employees work in Belgium, at the main office in Ghent or at the important manufacturing facility in Wevelgem.