Cloetta’s top executive steps down after seven years

A surprise announcement from the confectionery giant

Cloetta, the Swedish confectionery group behind the Sportlife and Candyking brands, announced on Tuesday that its President and CEO Henri de Sauvage-Nolting had resigned from his position. He will remain in his role until September 1, 2024. The company said that the Board of Directors will now initiate the recruitment of a new President and CEO.

The news came as a surprise to many in the industry, as de Sauvage-Nolting had been leading the company for seven years and had overseen its transformation from a mainly acquisition-driven growth strategy to an organic growth strategy. He had also guided the company through the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the changing consumer preferences.


A strong track record of performance and innovation

During his tenure, de Sauvage-Nolting had achieved impressive results for Cloetta, both in terms of financial performance and innovation. He had joined the company in February 2017, the same month that Cloetta acquired the fellow Swedish confectionery Candyking Holding. Since then, he had grown the net sales from SEK 6 billion ($573.8 million) to a rolling-12-month figure of more than SEK 8 billion. The profits had also increased from SEK 600 million to close to SEK 800 million in the corresponding most-recently reported period.

He had also strengthened the company’s portfolio of brands and products, focusing on the core categories of sugar confectionery, chocolate, pastilles, and chewing gum. He had launched new products and formats, such as the vegan and sugar-free ranges, and expanded the company’s presence in new markets, such as China and the Middle East. He had also invested in the company’s sustainability and digital capabilities, enhancing its environmental and social impact and its online presence.

A smooth transition and a bright future

In a statement, de Sauvage-Nolting expressed his gratitude to the company and his colleagues, and said that he felt that this was the right time to make a smooth transition with as little disruption as possible to the positive momentum that Cloetta had established. He said that he was leaving behind a strong and talented group management team and a strong organisation, whose ability to deliver and support he could always count on.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mikael Norman, thanked de Sauvage-Nolting for his fantastic job and said that the Board sincerely regretted that he would be leaving the company. He praised him for leading the company through a few years with exceptional uncertainty in the operating environment and for delivering both strong results and a stronger commercial and operational base. He also highlighted his role in the preparatory work for the Greenfield investment in the Netherlands, which will enable significant cost savings, facilitate further growth, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The company said that it will announce its full financial results for 2023 on Wednesday, and that it expects to continue its growth trajectory and profitability improvement in the coming years.

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