Vodafone Group lined up the CEO of brewing company Heineken, Jean-Francois Van Boxmeer, to replace chairman Gerard Kleisterlee, who is due to step down in November following almost a decade in the role.
In a statement, Vodafone CEO Nick Read explained Van Boxmeer oversaw a “a highly successful period of transformation and value creation” at Heineken, and holds “valuable experience in driving growth through both B2B and B2C business models”.
Van Boxmeer is due to be appointed a non-executive director at Vodafone’s AGM on 28 July, before taking over as chair on 3 November.
He has been CEO of Heineken since 2005, a period in which he is credited with transforming the brewer into a “truly global organisation”, delivering a near threefold increase in its share price through strategic transactions and organic growth.
Vodafone noted Kleisterlee oversaw a shift from a pure-play operator to a leading European converged service provider, along with pushing data and financial service growth in Africa since being appointed in 2011.
Key moves made during his tenure include an exit from Verizon Wireless in a $130 billion deal, and an €18.4 billion ($20.1 billion) acquisition of Liberty Global’s cable assets in Germany, Czech, Hungary and Romania.
Kleisterlee said the announcement was “the culmination of a succession planning process” initiated in 2019.