In July, Jean-François van Boxmeer will step down as Heineken CEO after fifteen years at the helm. He is passing the torch on to Dutchman Dolf van den Brink, saying it is time to make way for the younger generation.
Not only was the 58-year-old Belgian at the head of the brewery group for fifteen years, but he also pursued his entire career in the Dutch company: from a recently graduated economist in 1984 to the present day, Van Boxmeer climbed every step of the career ladder at Heineken.
Under his leadership, Heineken’s turnover doubled from almost 11 billion euros in 2005 to more than 22 billion euros in 2018, representing a volume of 234 million hectolitres, which saw the Dutch brewer become the second largest in the world (preceded only by Belgian AB InBev).
The growth is partly due to investments in the Asian market: it was Van Boxmeer who oversaw the takeover of Asia Pacific Breweries, known for its Tiger beer, in 2012. As a reward, Van Boxmeer will be appointed as non-executive member of the Board of Directors on 1 June.
The right time
This is the right time to pass on the torch to a new generation, Van Boxmeer told Dutch newspaper NRC. He will be succeeded by 46-year-old Dutchman Dolf Van den Brink, who himself has worked for Heineken for 22 years.
Van den Brink also started as a trainee at Heineken (in 1988), before becoming commercial director of the Congolese activities (where Van Boxmeer also earned his spurs). He later became Managing Director for Heineken USA (2009) and Mexico (2015) before moving to the Asia Pacific branch two years ago.
Subject to the approval of the General Meeting of Shareholders, Dolf Van den Brink will become a member of the Board of Directors from 23 April. He will then be prepared for his role as CEO until 1 June by his predecessor Van Boxmeer.