DATELINE — Cees de Jong, M.D., chief executive officer of Chr. Hansen Holding A/S since April 1, 2013, has announced he will step away from the company to pursue a career as a non-executive director outside of the company. Dr. de Jong will remain c.e.o. until Chr. Hansen finds a replacement.
“Chr. Hansen has a unique competence base and strong growth prospects, and it is, and has been, a privilege to be the c.e.o. since 2013,” Dr. de Jong said. “The company and its employees have been creating excellent results and are continuing to deliver on the ‘Nature’s No. 1’ strategy, turning Chr. Hansen into a true global microbial solutions company. While I am choosing now to pursue a different career, I will continue fully dedicated in my role as c.e.o. for Chr. Hansen until my replacement has been found.”
Before joining Chr. Hansen Dr. de Jong was chief operating officer of Crucell, Leiden, The Netherlands, and helped lead the company through a transformation process to become a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company. Johnson & Johnson acquired Crucell in 2011. Prior to Crucell he was group vice-president and head of the flavor division at Quest International, and earlier he was president of the industrial products division of Campina. He began his career with Gist-Brocades in 1989 and held different positions, including managing director of the industrial pharmaceutical division. When DSM acquired Gist-Brocades in 1998, Dr. de Jong was named president of DSM’s anti-infectives division.
Dr. de Jong became a doctor of medicine at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He received a master’s in business administration from the Rotterdam School of Management.
Ole Andersen, chairman of Chr. Hansen’s board of directors, thanked Dr. de Jong for the “tremendous job” he has done for Chr. Hansen and its shareholders, employees and other stakeholders.
“Together with the Corporate Leadership Team, Cees has steered the company while delivering in accordance with our financial goals, helped develop an ambitious strategy and been a driving force behind our initiatives to pursue new growth opportunities,” Mr. Andersen said. “Chr. Hansen will be in a much stronger shape when Cees leaves, than when he arrived. We have several new and exciting prospects. I therefore look forward to identifying and appointing a new c.e.o. for Chr. Hansen among the very strong candidates there will naturally be for this attractive position.”Founded in 1874, Chr. Hansen is a global bioscience company that develops natural ingredient solutions for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. The company develops and produces cultures, enzymes, probiotics and natural colors for a variety of foods, confectionery, beverages, dietary supplements and even animal feed and plant protection.