Steve Lesnard

Source: Pladis

Lesnard has over 25 years of experience working for global brands such as Nike, The North Face and Sephora

Pladis has appointed Steve Lesnard as president of Godiva as it integrates the Belgian chocolate maker into its portfolio of brands.

Effective 1 May, Lesnard would “grow and sustain Godiva’s position and expertise in the premium chocolate category”, said Pladis.

Lesnard has over 25 years of experience working for global brands. He spent over 20 years at Nike, culminating as its global VP for running.

After leaving Nike, Lesnard spent two years as CMO for The North Face before stepping into his current role as chief brand officer & head of private label for Sephora.

In his time at Sephora, Lesnard helped the business “get back into double-digit growth globally” following the Covid-19 pandemic, by “driving brand elevation and innovation around the world”, according to Pladis.

Godiva was acquired by Pladis’s parent company, Yıldız Holding of Turkey, in 2008. Pladis, whose headquarters is in London, began integrating Godiva into its portfolio of brands in 2023.

This process, due for completion later this year, would bring “additional scale, luxury capabilities and consumer excitement to the growing Pladis business”, it said.

Pladis plans to accelerate Godiva’s sales by 2026, with the greatest push coming from its two biggest markets: the US and China.

Pladis CEO Salman Amin said he was “delighted to welcome Steve Lesnard to the team to drive growth while upholding Godiva’s beautiful legacy”.

“Synonymous with artisanal and beautifully curated chocolates since it was founded in Belgium almost a century ago, Godiva is a perfect fit within Pladis’ global portfolio of beloved brands,” he added.

Lesnard said he was “thrilled to join Pladis as president of Godiva”.

“I’m energised by the opportunities Godiva has, to continue benefiting from Pladis’s industry-leading insights, extensive retail customer relationships, innovative R&D, and highly focused, profitable growth strategy.”