(Corrects name of company's founder in second to last
MILAN, March 30 Nutella-maker Ferrero said on
Thursday it would appoint its first chief executive from outside
its founding family, as it strives to become more competitive
and grow faster abroad.
From September, the company's head of central and eastern
Europe, Lapo Civiletti, will replace Giovanni Ferrero as CEO.
The decision marks another shift in strategy for the Italian
confectioner, which started making small acquisitions in recent
years after Giovanni Ferrero became the company's sole CEO in
2011 following the death of his brother. Before then, the group
had mostly relied on internal growth.
The only surviving scion of the Ferrero family will become
executive chairman and be responsible for the group's long-term
Italian family-owned businesses are often criticised for
their reluctance to cede control to external managers or bring
in other investors.
Ferrero reported earlier this week an 8.5 percent rise in
sales to 10.3 billion euros ($11 billion) for the 12 months
The confectioner was founded in 1946 in northwest Italy by
Pietro Ferrero and grew under his son Michele, who died two
years ago. It now sells products including Ferrero Rocher
pralines in 170 countries around the world.
Last year, it bought Belgium-based biscuits maker Delacre
and earlier this month took control of U.S.-based chocolatier
($1 = 0.9327 euros)
(Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Mark Potter)