Corbion executives to step down

by Jeff Gelski
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AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS — New top executives soon will lead Corbion n.v. as its evolvement as a bio-based ingredients company continues. Gerard Hoetmer, chief executive officer, and Koos Kramer, chief financial officer, will step down from their positions at Corbion on May 12, the company said Feb. 26.

Corbion’s supervisory board has nominated Tjerk de Ruiter as the new c.e.o. He currently is c.e.o. and president of LS9, Inc., a biotechnology company based in San Francisco that was sold to Renewable Energy Group, a U.S. biodiesel company.

“With his experience, his character, his drive, his background, I think he’s really the guy who can take Corbion to different heights,” Mr. Hoetmer said in a Feb. 26 earnings conference call.

Eddy van Rhede van der Kloot was nominated as the new c.f.o. He currently is senior vice-president of finance at Corbion.

“There’s hardly anything we need to share with Eddy because Eddy has been instrumental in putting the strategy together,” Mr. Hoetmer said.

The executive changes will come after Corbion, formerly known as CSM, began its transformation into a bio-based ingredients company. Corbion last July announced it had completed the divestment of its European Bakery Supplies and North American Bakery Supplies businesses to Rhone Capital. Corbion now has two segments: Biobased Food Ingredients, which includes Caravan and Purac, and Biochemicals.

Mr. Hoetmer has been c.e.o. since 2005. Mr. Kramer has been c.f.o. since 2006. Mr. Hoetmer said current Corbion projects will require a commitment of at least four years. He said he planned to step down before the age of 60 and thus could not make that four-year commitment.

Rudy Markham, chairman of the supervisory board, said, “Whilst setting out the strategic journey with investments in the biotechnology and the divestment of the bakery supplies activities, they (Mr. Hoetmer and Mr. Kramer) showed strong and effective leadership to steer the company through the turbulent economic periods in recent years. In 2012, they announced the last step in the strategic path for the transformation of CSM into Corbion and successfully delivered on that with the divestment of bakery supplies. All in all, this last step, combined with building the new organization, can be seen as a strong foundation for Corbion’s future.”

Mr. Hoetmer said in the coming months he and Mr. Kramer will work with the incoming executives to make the handover process as smooth as possible.

Mr. de Ruiter has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University Nijenrode in Breukelen, The Netherlands, and a master’s in international management from the American Graduate School of International Management, Thunderbird. He spent 12 years at Danisco and served as c.e.o. of the Genencor division.

Mr. van Rhede van der Kloot has a master’s degree in biotechnology from Delft University and a degree in finance from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. He started his career at Unilever as a process engineer and was based in both The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
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