Belgian dairy cooperative Milcobel has “parted ways” with CEO Nils van Dam, referencing a “clear difference in vision” with the company’s board.
Former CEO Nils van Dam. ©Milcobel
The coop sources milk from around 2,000 family-owned local dairy farmers – it supplies retailers and provides ingredients to manufacturers as well as serving private-label customers. Its product range includes cheese, butter, milk powders, cream, whey and ice cream.
Milcobel said the separation with van Dam – who became CEO of the coop in 2020 – was of “mutual” consent and referred to the “challenging” business environment, citing “sharply falling dairy markets” and “stricter sustainability requirements”.
A limited management team has been put in place to take care of day-to-day management pending the appointment of a new CEO.
President of Milcobel, Betty Eeckhaut, said: “We choose not to appoint an interim CEO but prioritise continuity in managing the ongoing projects. This is why the board of directors is mandating a team of executives to take on the day-to-day management of Milcobel. This allows us to start looking for a suitable successor to van Dam without haste.”
She continued: “Under the leadership of Nils van Dam, Milcobel made a necessary catch-up. However, the evaluation of the realised trajectory and the preparation of the next steps revealed a clear difference in vision between the board of directors and CEO. In mutual consultation, it was therefore decided to end the cooperation.”
“On behalf of the board of directors, I would therefore like to thank van Dam for his efforts to make Milcobel competitive again as a dairy company. We may speak of a real transformation, even if today it does not always deliver the results we aspire to.”
Milcobel is now looking to new opportunities and projects. The coop said in a statement that it will prioritise investing in “highly valorising products,” and already this year has partnered with Arla Foods Ingredients to supply its whey protein concentrate for use in baby food and pharmaceutical applications.
Eeckhaut added: “In order to be successful, we need to increase our commercial clout, among other things. We expect a new CEO to take the lead in this and inspire the teams.”
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