Heineken to replace Debroux as CFO

Heineken, the world’s second-largest beer maker says Laurence Debroux will step down next month after six years as CFO and be succeeded by Harold van der Broek, currently president of hygiene at British consumer-products company, Reckitt Benckiser, in a bid to shake up top management as it focuses on its pandemic recovery plan.

Van der Broek will be the eighth new addition to Heineken’s 11-person executive team since Dolf van den Brink took over as CEO in February 2020.

After plunged 204 million euros into the red in 2020 amid coronavirus restrictions and lockdowns, Heineken has been focusing on restoring operating profit margins to pre-pandemic levels by 2023. It announced last month it was cutting 8,000 jobs around the world as part of its 2 billion euro “Evergreen” cost-saving plan.

Van den Brink said “Harold brings deep financial expertise and strong business acumen as the current president of a multi-billion pound business”.

“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,” he mentioned.

Van den Brink credited Debroux with leaving 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.”

The coronavirus pandemic has hammered Heineken’s sales from pubs, bars, restaurants, and cafes, with revenues falling 16.7% in 2020 to 23.8 billion euros.

Debroux, a French national, took over as CFO in April 2015 after serving as finance chief of French outdoor advertising group JCDecaux.

“Over the last year, we have been shaping together the strategic direction for the company to emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis,” she said. “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.”


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