Jules Noten will take over from Philippe Haspeslagh on 1 July 2021.
As announced at the end of last year, Philippe Haspeslagh is stepping down from the Ardo Board of Directors at the end of Ardo's financial year. Philippe’s successor as Chairman of the Board per 1st July is Jules Noten, who has been an external director at Ardo since December 2020.
The renewal of the Board of Directors started last year with the appointment of three new external directors. The appointment of a new chairman is a logical next step in this process. Frederik Haspeslagh will take over the mandate from his father Philippe as the first representative of the 3rd generation Haspeslagh in the Board of Directors. This underlines the family's continued commitment to the company, also in the next generations.
Philippe Haspeslagh (71) has been Chairman of Dujardin Foods since 1985, and of Ardo since the 2015 merger, in which he played a pivotal role. As Chairman of Ardo he has opened up the group’s development in North America through the acquisition of Ardo VLM and guided the preparations for the company’s next stages of development.
"I look back with great satisfaction on how we, first with my brothers and then with my cousins, have further grown our parents' work with family entrepreneurship and growing professionalism. A strong management team and a wise Board of Directors are ready to continue writing the beautiful story with a new generation of Haspeslaghs. I thank all employees, past and present, for their commitment and contribution to this." says Philippe Haspeslagh.
Jules Noten joined the Ardo Board of Directors in December 2020. He has extensive experience in various international (family) businesses both in the food sector and beyond, including in his last active role as CEO at Vandemoortele. In addition to his current position at Ardo, Jules Noten is on the Board of Directors of several companies including BPost, Port of Antwerp-Bruges, LRM and Sioen Industries.
"With his experience at Unilever and the frozen bakery business of Vandemoortele, Jules is obviously familiar with the challenges of producing and selling frozen private label products to retailers, foodservice and industry alike. At Vandemoortele, he had a remarkable track record in clarifying strategic focus, strengthening marketing and innovation, and improving performance. Jules has a strong commitment to sustainability and a passion for product innovation. He is therefore the right person to coach the management together with the family shareholders and to help lead Ardo into the future." says Philippe Haspeslagh.
"It is an honour and a challenge to take over the baton from Philippe and to contribute to the development of one of our most beautiful family businesses in Flanders. Naturally healthy fresh frozen fruit, herbs and vegetables, with great care for sustainability from the field to the plate. I am convinced that the combination of the entrepreneurial spirit of the Haspeslagh family and the drive of the management team led by Gabrielle Kalkwijk will continue to inspire all employees to successfully develop Ardo." according to Jules Noten.
The current financial year closes on 1st July - it is still too early to make any statements. The ongoing Covid-19 situation is particularly noticeable in Food Service. The current increases in raw material prices and container transport are also having an impact, as are the climate conditions.
"Ardo continues to focus on better serving our customers and on reducing complexity and costs. The focus is no longer that much on additional net sales but primarily on profitability. We will continue on the path of sustainability, supported by the Haspeslagh family's great passion on this front", says CEO Gabrielle Kalkwijk.