Heineken new CFO

Current Heineken CFO Laurence Debroux and replacement Harold van den Broek

Heineken has named the president of Reckitt Benckiser’s hygiene division as its new CFO after Laurence Debroux agreed to step down.

Harold van den Broek will start as chief financial officer on 1 June, working with Debroux for a transition period.

The move is subject to shareholder approval at the Dutch brewer’s AGM on 22 April.

Van den Broek has been with Reckitt since 2014, starting as CFO for the hygiene arm, which includes household brands such as Lysol and Finish, before taking on the president role.

He has spent more than 30 years in the fmcg industry in a broad range of finance roles, starting his career at Unilever.

Heineken CEO Dolf van den Brink, who joined the group last year, thanked Debroux for her six years of service

“Over the past six years, she has strongly contributed to Heineken’s success,” he said.

“Most recently, she played a key role in steering the company through the Covid-19 crisis and shaping EverGreen, our strategic direction for the company, exploring how to accelerate and expand our sources of growth while simplifying and right sizing our cost base.

“Laurence leaves Heineken in a strong financial position and with the finance teams in great shape, thanks to her continuous drive to develop and nurture great talent. We wish her every success in the future.”

He added van den Broek brought “deep financial expertise and strong business acumen” to the brewer.

“He has led large-scale business transformations, has decades of consumer goods experience and brings fresh external perspective – all of which will be an asset as we embark on our EverGreen journey, enter our next phase of growth and build on the great platform established by Laurence.”

Last month Heineken announced it was cutting 8,000 jobs around the world as part of its EverGreen €2bn cost-saving drive.

The group plunged €204m into the red in 2020 as coronavirus restrictions and lockdowns hammered sales from pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes, with revenues falling 16.7% to €23.8bn.

Debroux said the executive board had been shaping the strategic direction for the company over the past year to emerge stronger from the Covid-19 crisis.

“I leave with full confidence that under Dolf’s leadership the company is in the best of hands to embark on its next growth chapter under a renewed strategy,” she added.

“This has been an intense and fulfilling period, and I see now is a natural moment to hand over and take some time to chart the next phase in my professional life.”