Delaunay Named Barry Callebaut COO, Poelman To Retire

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Zurich, Switzerland — Olivier Delaunay has been tapped as the next COO for Barry Callebaut AG, effective September 1. He is replacing Dirk Poelman, who is retiring at the end of August after 35 years with the company, according to the chocolate supplier.

Olivier Delaunay
Olivier Delaunay

Delaunay initially joined Barry Callebaut in 1987, and worked in the company’s Cameroon, France, Netherlands and U.S. divisions before joining Danone in 1994. During his time with the French food and beverage company, he served in the diary and biscuits divisions. In 2012, he returned to the chocolate supplier as its vice-president, operations and supply chain organization (OSCO) for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), a position he has held up until the recent promotion.

Antoine de Saint-Affrique, CEO of the Barry Callebaut Group, says: “During the past seven years, he (Delaunay) has headed the deep transformation of our OSCO footprint and capabilities in the region, playing a key role in enabling current and future growth in EMEA. Importantly, he has built and grown around him a strong and talented team that lives our company values. I am confident that Olivier will build on Dirk’s legacy and bring our global manufacturing network of over 60 factories to the next level.”

Dirk Poelman
Dirk Poelman

Poelman spent 10 years as COO and a member of the executive committee at Barry Callebaut. During his tenure, he has worked in various managerial positions and countries, according to the supplier.

“Dirk Poelman has been part of our growth journey like hardly anyone else, contributing to each step of our numerous expansion and acquisition projects and making sure our operations would enable our growth,” de Saint-Affrique says.