De Kuyper CEO Mark de Witte to retire

Mark de Witte will retire as CEO of De Kuyper Royal Distillers next April when Heineken veteran Leo Evers will take over the position.

De Witte will step down as CEO of the Dutch drinks company on 30 April 2024 after nine years in the position.

Evers, who has 30 years of experience in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry, will become CEO on 1 May.

During De Witte’s tenure as CEO, the company said it had made great strides towards its goal of becoming the ‘globally recognised go-to company for cocktails and one of the main innovation drivers in the cocktail industry’. The Dutch distiller has nearly tripled its turnover during this period.

De Witte said it had been a “great privilege” to lead the business through a “period of significant transformation and growth”.

He continued: “I am very proud of my team and of what we have accomplished together. Also, I am grateful for the confidence and support of the supervisory board as well as of the De Kuyper Royal Distillers shareholders.

“I am confident that Leo Evers is well suited to guide the company into its next chapter. I wish him and the entire De Kuyper team continued success.”

Dutch national Evers started his career at Bols International in 1990, before enjoying a 25-year stint with brewing giant Heineken Group.

In July 2021, he joined the executive committee of Carlsberg as the executive vice-president for Asia before stepping down a year later.

De Kuyper called Evers the ‘ideal candidate’ to head up the business due to his extensive background in supply chain, sales, marketing and general management positions, together with his experience in the FMCG sector.

“For most of my professional career, I have worked for family-owned businesses whose rich heritage I value highly,” Evers said.

“I love to work for companies with passionate people, fantastic brands, and those that are looking for long-term sustainable growth. De Kuyper has an incredibly rich history encompassing over three centuries and continues to demonstrate its relevance today.

“Personally, I believe that De Kuyper is a company that is well positioned after the transformation of the last nine years and has massive opportunities for the future, especially by continuing to ‘own the cocktail’ and by further expanding internationally.”

In September last year, De Kuyper acquired peach schnapps brand Archers from Diageo for an undisclosed sum.

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Author: Nicola Carruthers