FILE PHOTO: Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Heineken Jean Francois van Boxmeer delivers a speech during the official opening of a new Heineken brewery in Meoqui, in Chihuahua state, Mexico February 27, 2018. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez
LONDON (Reuters) – Vodafone (VOD.L), the world’s second-biggest mobile operator, has recruited Jean-Francois Van Boxmeer, the current CEO of brewer Heineken (HEIN.AS), to succeed Gerard Kleisterlee as chairman from November this year.
The British company said Van Boxmeer, a Belgian, will join as a non-executive director on July 28.
He has been Heineken’s CEO since 2005, presiding over a nearly threefold increase in its share price through a combination of strategic transactions and organic growth. He will hand over the role to Asia-Pacific chief, Dolf van den Brink, in June.
Van Boxmeer “is a very experienced businessman, with an in-depth knowledge of our geographic regions and he brings very strong sales and customer focus,” said Kleisterlee, who has been Vodafone’s chairman for nine years.
“I am greatly looking forward to working with (CEO) Nick (Read) and the executive team to drive forward Vodafone’s strategy, ensuring that we create significant value for all stakeholders,” Van Boxmeer said.
Earlier this month Vodafone reported a 2.6% rise in full-year core earnings and maintained its dividend, bucking a corporate trend to cut or scrap payouts due to the coronavirus crisis.
Shares in Vodafone, down 12% so far in 2020, closed Thursday at 129 pence, valuing the business at 34.5 billion pounds ($42.1 billion).
Reporting by James Davey; editing by Sarah Young and Paul Sandle