Saudi dairy firm Almarai says CEO to retire

Georges Schorderet will remain with the company into next year during a transition process



Saudi dairy company Almarai on Thursday announced the retirement of its chief executive Georges Schorderet.

The company said in a bourse statement that Schorderet, who joined the company as chief financial officer in 2004 and was appointed CEO in February 2015, would step down in the first half of 2019.

Alois Hofbauer, who was selected by the board during a succession process last year, will be his replacement.

The incoming CEO has more than 25 years of experience and most recently served as CEO of Nestlé (Malaysia) Berhad and regional head of Nestlé Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

He will join Almarai from January 1 before officially taking on the CEO role on April 1.

“Until that time, Georges will continue in his role as chief executive officer providing direction and support to the business and ensuring a smooth transition process,” the company said.

“In addition, Georges will remain beyond 1st April 2019 at the disposal of the Board of Directors to ensure an important level of continuity.”

Almarai said in may it planned to spend SAR10.6bn ($2.8bn) under a five-year business plan to boost efficiency and expand its geographic footprint.

Read: Saudi’s Almarai plans $2.8bn expansion

This came after the company was hit by Saudi Arabia’s closing of ties with Qatar in June last year and more recently damp consumer spending linked to the introduction of a 5 per cent value added tax and higher fuel and electricity prices.

Read: Saudi Arabia raises fuel prices

Bloomberg reported in January that the sons of the billionaire founder and chairman of Almarai, Prince Sultan bin Mohammed Al Kabeer, were among those detained following a protest over the ending of state payments of utility bills for royals.

Read: Almarai chairman’s sons among 11 detained Saudi princes – report