Ricola's sustained profitable growth, an increased internationalization and the digital transformation are constantly posing new challenges for the governance of the group. «Our family is therefore constantly looking for the optimal solution for Ricola's management. Based on these considerations, we have decided that a complete separation of the strategic and operational levels is most beneficial for our company at the present time», says Felix Richterich, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ricola Group Ltd. and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ricola Family Holding Ltd.
The implementation of this governance model at Ricola has been carried out carefully and step by step. Following a successful start of Thomas P. Meier in May 2019 as CEO and a period of transition in which the course was set and the cultural change was initiated, the members of the Richterich family will focus in their tasks in the Boards of Directors of Ricola Group Ltd. and the parent company Ricola Family Holding Ltd. from 1 January 2021.
Eva Richterich, currently Head of Innovation & Sustainability, is leaving the Group Management at the end of 2020 and will concentrate on her strategic role as a member of the Board of Directors of the Ricola Family Holding Ltd. At this time, Chris Fesen will take over the business unit Innovation & Sustainability. The operational management of the Ricola Group Ltd., headed by CEO Thomas P. Meier, will thus be entirely in the hands of leaders from outside the family.
Eva Richterich was Vice Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Ricola Group from 2015-2019. In 2016, she initiated Ricolab, an innovation laboratory, this providing important impetus for innovation, the responsible use of natural resources and digital transformation. At the beginning of 2019, she was appointed to Ricola’ Group Management and became the Head of Innovation & Sustainability. Together with her team, she developed a new innovation strategy and the associated process. She also created the basis for modern sustainability management and fostered the necessary cultural change in her business unit. She also integrated Ricolab into the parent company in early 2020. Following the successful completion of these activities, Eva Richterich will retire from Ricola's operational management at the end of 2020 and focus on her strategic role as a member of the Board of Directors of Ricola Family Holding Ltd.
The Board of Directors and the CEO of the Ricola Group would like to thank Eva Richterich for her excellent cooperation in the Group Management and her active involvement in this important transition into the next chapter of Ricola's history.
The Board of Directors and the CEO of Ricola Group Ltd. have decided to put Chris Fesen in charge of the management of the Innovation & Sustainability business unit. Chris Fesen is 44 years old and has lived in Switzerland for almost ten years. He previously held management positions at a multinational nutrition company and a packaging group.