DSM Names Two new Chief Executives

04.12.2019 -

In an unusual development, in particular for this industry, Dutch chemicals and plastics producer DSM will have two chief executives from Feb. 15, 2020.  At the same time, it will concentrate the bulk of the managing board’s roles in the hands of two people.

On the February date, Feike Sijbesma, who has been CEO for nearly 13 years and sat on the managing board for 20 years will step down and be succeeded by Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze as co-CEOs.

DSM said Sijbesma is leaving to pursue unspecified other business and personal roles, but will remain with the company until May 2020 to ensure a smooth transition. While moving up the corporate ladder, Matchett will keep her job as chief financial officer (CFO)  and De Vreeze will remain chief operating officer (COO).

In addition to financial management and related matters, Matchett will oversee the group’s digital strategy, while her co-CEO, along with operations will focus on R&D. They will be jointly responsible for company performance and strategy as well as the M&A agenda.

Explaining the realignment along these lines, supervisory board chairman Rob Routs said that, together with Sijbesma, Matchett and De Vreeze “have driven the transformation of the business in a highly collaborative and effective way.”

Under Sibesma’s leadership, the company said, DSM has transformed itself from a bulk chemicals producer into one focused on nutrition, health and sustainable living, generating total shareholders return of about 400% while at the same time upgrading its materials portfolio.