Press release

dsm-firmenich announces evolution of CEO structure per 1 September, following completion of the merger

Kaiseraugst, Switzerland, and Heerlen, the Netherlands – May 4, 2023

  • Co-CEO structure to be replaced by sole CEO structure
  • Dimitri de Vreeze to continue as CEO as Geraldine Matchett decided to further her career elsewhere 
  • Appointment of Ralf Schmeitz as new DSM-Firmenich CFO

The Board of Directors of DSM-Firmenich AG (the Company or DSM-Firmenich) announces an evolution in the company’s CEO structure as the company completes its merger of equals with Firmenich International SA on 8 May 2023. The existing Co-CEO structure, with each CEO holding additional CFO and COO responsibilities respectively, will be changed effective as of 1 September 2023 with Dimitri de Vreeze as CEO and the appointment of Ralf Schmeitz as CFO of DSM-Firmenich.

Geraldine Matchett, after having been instrumental in the success and strategic transformation of DSM, including the merger with Firmenich, has decided to further her career elsewhere as of 1 September, in full alignment and with the thanks of the Board. 

Ralf Schmeitz has a strong track record in Finance & Control, Treasury, Taxation and M&A, holding three master’s degrees in economics, accountancy, and business valuation. He started his career in PWC followed by Hewlett Packard where he spent seven years in various leadership roles. He joined DSM in 2006 and has been instrumental in driving the DSM Finance transformation over the past years and in supporting DSM’s significant portfolio changes. In his last DSM role as Group Controller, he was leading the Group’s Business Controlling & Accounting teams. Ralf will take on the role of CFO and join the Executive Committee of DSM-Firmenich as of 1 September 2023.  

Thomas Leysen, Chairman of DSM-Firmenich, commented: “Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze have together brought about an impressive and widely admired transformation of DSM during their tenure as Co-CEOs. Their highly complementary skillsets, experiences and personalities enabled them to rapidly build on the strong legacy they inherited. Together they forged a new destiny for DSM, which culminated in the ground-breaking and soon to be completed merger of DSM and Firmenich. 

With the merger now a reality, we have together determined that the dual leadership that has served DSM so well during a period of significant change, is no longer needed for DSM-Firmenich going forward. The Board has full confidence in Dimitri to continue building on their exceptional work and is pleased to welcome Ralf in the role of CFO.

On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Geraldine for the superb way in which she fulfilled her Co-CEO and CFO role. Her financial and strategic acumen, engaging personality and impressive people and communication skills were instrumental in navigating DSM through this period of rapid change. We wish Geraldine every success in the future.”

Dimitri de Vreeze and Geraldine Matchett, Co-CEOs of DSM-Firmenich, commented: “We have had the privilege of jointly leading DSM through unprecedented times, taking over the helm of the company in early 2020 just as the COVID pandemic changed the world we live in. We are very proud of how, together with our colleagues, DSM responded to these challenging times and continued to supply essential health and nutrition. These were times when we all adapted rapidly and lived every day guided by our purpose-led performance-driven culture. During our joint tenure we continued to shape DSM’s strategic journey, finding great homes for our Materials businesses, focusing DSM’s activities, and now bringing to life a historic merger of two iconic companies, DSM and Firmenich, to create the leading innovator in nutrition, health, and beauty.”

Dimitri de Vreeze added: “The adventure that this company is about to embark upon would not have been possible without the wonderful collaboration of Geraldine over the years. I am grateful for what we have shaped together and excited for the next steps in shaping the future as DSM-Firmenich.”

Geraldine Matchett added: “It has been a great pleasure and privilege to lead DSM with Dimitri and to help bring together two great companies. The DSM and Firmenich merger is extremely exciting, bringing together very complementary cultures and capabilities. I look back with pride at all that has been achieved during my almost 10 years at DSM, and wish all my colleagues success for their journey ahead as DSM-Firmenich.”

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