Supervisory Board of Royal DSM, a global science-based company in Nutrition,
Health and Sustainable Living, announces the upcoming succession of CEO Feike
Sijbesma, who will hand over his responsibilities to his Managing Board
colleagues Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze as Co-CEO’s in February
2020 and will support a smooth transition until May 2020.
Feike Sijbesma: transforming DSM
for more than a decade
After 20 years on the Managing
Board and almost 13 years as CEO, Feike Sijbesma has decided to step down as
CEO and hand over the company’s leadership, as he seeks to pursue other
business and personal roles. Feike Sijbesma will formally hand over his responsibilities
as CEO on February 15, 2020 to his successors, Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri
de Vreeze, and will remain employed by DSM securing a further smooth transition
in the coming five months, until May 1, 2020. Feike will announce his new
engagements and roles later.
Under the leadership of Feike
Sijbesma, DSM has gone through a significant transformation, from bulk
chemicals company into one which focuses on Nutrition, Health and Sustainable
Living, generating Total Shareholders Return of about 400%. Over more than a
decade DSM has significantly expanded its nutrition business, divested its
non-core bulk chemical activities, and upgraded the materials portfolio. In
addition to focusing on business performance and financial discipline, under
Feike’s leadership, DSM repositioned itself into the successful science-based
company that it is today: purpose-led and performance-driven, putting
innovation and sustainability at the heart of the company and its strategy.
Today, DSM is a truly global company with a diverse and engaged employee and
leadership base, creating value for all stakeholders.
Feike Sijbesma: “It has been a huge privilege to serve
DSM for such a long time. I am deeply grateful to our Board, all my DSM
colleagues and business partners for working closely together and for their
enormous commitment and contribution. I also thank our customers and
shareholders for their trust and loyalty. And last, but not least, I am humbled
for having been given the opportunity to serve society by creating value on
three dimensions simultaneously: people, planet and profit. I will announce new
engagements at a later moment and remain passionate driving solutions on global
topics. I am proud that the Supervisory Board has chosen my Managing Board colleagues Geraldine
and Dimitri, as my successors. Their appointment is well deserved and reflects
the collaborative nature of our business, and I wish them every success for the
On behalf of all at DSM, Rob Routs,
Chairman Supervisory Board: “We
are very grateful for Feike’s tremendous contribution to DSM during his 32-year
career at the company and most specifically his last 13 years as CEO. Under
Feike’s visionary leadership, DSM transformed itself into a healthy, high
performing, sustainable, and innovative company. Feike has demonstrated that a
company can deliver financial and sustainability returns while creating value
and purpose for all stakeholders. We all wish Feike the very best for
Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de
Vreeze: continuing DSM’s journey
After a thorough process and
external benchmarking, including the advice and input from an international
search firm, the Supervisory Board has decided to appoint both, Geraldine
Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze, the two Managing Board colleagues of Feike
Sijbesma, in a dual leadership as Co-CEO’s. Together they will maintain the
focus on business performance, financial discipline, innovation,
sustainability, and people, as DSM continues its journey. This dual leadership
structure is rooted in the long history of collaboration between them, which
has been keenly observed by the Supervisory Board and is expected to create a
strong basis for continued profitable growth. In conjunction with their Co-CEO
role, Geraldine Matchett will retain her responsibilities as CFO and Dimitri de
Vreeze will hold the COO responsibilities.
As Co-CEO’s, Geraldine will focus
on financial management and capital markets communication, capital allocation,
talent and culture development, as well as digital strategy and new ways of
working. Dimitri will focus on operational delivery, SHE, customer centricity,
driving growth and efficiency as well as innovation and R&D programs.
Jointly they will be accountable for the performance of the company and will
drive the purpose led, performance driven strategy and M&A agenda.
Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de
Vreeze have both demonstrated strong leadership while working with Feike
Sijbesma in shaping the company over the years. Their skillsets are highly
complementary, and their combined leadership will enable them to leverage their
respective strengths within DSM’s collaborative
Geraldine Matchett joined DSM as
CFO and Managing Board member in 2014. Dimitri de Vreeze joined DSM in 1990,
has held multiple business roles and has been Managing Board member since 2013.
To facilitate a smooth transfer and
continuity to the new Co-CEO leadership structure, the Supervisory Board will
ask the shareholders at the AGM in May 2020 to re-appoint Chairman Rob Routs
for a final two years term.
Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de
Vreeze: “It’s a great honor to serve DSM. We are excited to combine our mutual
strengths as Co-CEO’s, to ensure the continuation of DSM’s successful journey,
creating brighter lives for all, and to lead our innovative, science-based
company that has sustainability at its core. We are convinced that together we
can deliver continued success for the company. Feike has demonstrated
remarkable leadership, and we look forward to building further on his
Rob Routs, Chairman Supervisory Board: “After careful consideration, we concluded we have the very best candidates in-house. Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze, together with Feike Sijbesma, have driven the transformation and successes of the business in a highly collaborative and effective way, creating considerable value for all stakeholders. The Supervisory Board has seen them working together and believes the Co-CEO structure will ensure the continued successful development of DSM, with profitable growth, delivering on its promise as an innovative science-based company with a positive impact on the world. Together, Geraldine and Dimitri have a wealth of knowledge and experience which they are keen to continue to combine to ensure DSM will remain a leading company. Since Geraldine and Dimitri have worked for so long closely together with Feike, and shaped our current strategy together, we will have a smooth transition in the coming period, and we look forward to continue working together with them.” Please clickhere for a recorded message by Feike Sijbesma, Rob Routs, Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze.
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