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Firmenich Governance

A Family-Owned Company

A private company with a public governance, Firmenich values its independence and long-term view of the industry. That’s why it operates according to the highest standards of international governance.


This operational excellence is represented by the high calibre of its international Board of Directors, led by Patrick Firmenich, Chairman of the Board, as well as its Executive Team, headed by Gilbert Ghostine, CEO.

    From left to right: Mr. Richard Ridinger, Ms. Karen Jones CBE, Dr. Antoine Firmenich, Mr. Patrick Firmenich, Mr. Pierre Bouchut, Ms. Barbara Kux, Mr. André Pometta, Dr. Ajai Puri, and Ms. Diana Oltramare.

    Mr. Patrick Firmenich


    Chair of the Human Capital Committee

    Swiss national, born 1962

    Board Member since 2002.

    Chairman of the Board since 2016.

    Patrick Firmenich was appointed Chairman of the Board of Firmenich in October 2016, after first joining the Board in 2002 when he became CEO of Firmenich. Patrick served as the Group’s CEO for 12 years, from 2002 to 2014. During this time, he maintained Firmenich’s leadership in Perfumery and Ingredients, while implementing a long term vision for the Company’s Flavors Business Unit. He also sustained Firmenich’s above average investment in R&D and legacy of game-changing technologies, while setting an ambitious sustainability strategy for the Company and leading the Company to achieve world class HS&E performance.

    Patrick first joined Firmenich in 1990, and spent a decade successfully leading the strategic development of the Company’s International Fine Fragrance business in New York and Paris before being appointed to the Executive Committee in 1999.

    Patrick is a Board Member of the UBS Group SA, Jacobs Holding AG, INSEAD, and the INSEAD World Foundation. He also serves as a member of the Advisory Council of the Swiss Board Institute.

    He is the winner of the 2020 EY Entrepreneur of the Year™ Switzerland award for Family Business.

    Patrick holds a law degree from the University of Geneva and qualified as a barrister in 1987. He also holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from INSEAD in Fontainebleau.

    Ms. Barbara Kux


    Chair of the Governance & Sustainability Committee

    Swiss national, born 1954.

    First joined 2008-2011, rejoined since 2013.

    Barbara served on the Firmenich Board from May 2008 to October 2011. She rejoined the Board in 2013 and was appointed Vice-Chairman in 2016. Barbara has over 30 years of experience in management positions with leading international industrial and consumer goods companies. She started her career as a management consultant with McKinsey.

    In 2008, she was appointed the first woman to the Managing Board of Siemens AG where she increased results from supply chain management and green technologies, as she had done in her previous role at Royal Philips, where she was a Member of the Group Management Committee from 2003 to 2008. As Member of the SDSN Leadership Council for the UN she has contributed to the development of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Barbara is Member of the Supervisory Board of Henkel AG & Co. KGaA and a member of the International Advisory Board of Adobe. In addition she has been appointed as a Member of the Advisory Boards of INSEAD, the Max Schmidheiny Stiftung and the Department of Economics at the University of Zurich.

    She is a lecturer for sustainability at the University of St.Gallen and has been appointed Director for Corporate Governance at INSEAD. Barbara holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration with Distinction from INSEAD in Fontainebleau. INSEAD has recognized her among the 50 Alumni who changed the World.

    Mr. Pierre Bouchut

    Board Member

    Chairman of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee

    French national, born 1955.

    First joined 2016.

    Pierre was the Chief Operating Officer for Europe and Indonesia and a member of the Management Board of Ahold Delhaize until September 2018. Prior to the merger of Ahold and Delhaize, Pierre was the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Delhaize Group having joined them in 2012.

    Before joining Delhaize Group, Pierre was Chief Financial Officer and then Executive Director of Growth Markets at Carrefour, overseeing operations in Latin America, Turkey, India, Indonesia and Malaysia. He also oversaw Carrefour Personal Financial Services operations worldwide and was in charge of IT and Real Estate globally. Pierre also worked at the Schneider Group as Chief Financial Officer and member of the Management Board, developing numerous initiatives in structured finance, risk management and external growth; was CEO of Casino group; worked at McKinsey & Company as a consultant in the corporate finance and integrated logistics practices; and prior to that, was with Citibank in Paris.

    He is a Board Member of Geopost SA (a subsidiary of the French Post Office), Albioma SA (a company specialized in the production of “green” electricity), Entain Plc (a sports betting and gaming group), Pepco NV (a pan-European retail group) and Tom&Co (a pet food and supplies retailer).

    A graduate of HEC Paris, he holds a Master’s degree in Applied Economics from the University of Paris Dauphine.

    Dr. Antoine Firmenich

    Board Member

    Member of the Governance & Sustainability Committee and the Finance, Audit & Risk Committee

    Swiss national, born 1965.

    First joined 2009.

    Antoine Firmenich joined the Board of Firmenich in 2009. He was a Board Member of Sentarom SA, Switzerland, the holding company of the Firmenich group of companies, from 2004 until 2015, serving as its Chairman from 2009 until 2015.

    Since 2008 Antoine is the CEO & Managing Director of Aquilus Pte Ltd in Singapore. He is a founding partner of Alatus Capital, a value investment management firm which has worked over the past decade and a half with a number of preeminent global foundations, pension funds, endowments, and discerning long-term investors.

    Over the last years, Antoine has been increasingly involved in climate and sustainability issues, specifically supporting basic research projects on several continents, and driving high impact investment and policy initiatives centered on the long-term health of oceans and coastal ecosystems.

    Prior to his current role, Antoine worked at Firmenich in a number of leadership roles within the Flavors division, which included responsibility for the Flavors division Sweet Goods Global Business Unit, its Savory Global Business Unit and for all Encapsulated solutions.

    He has served on a number of corporate boards, including SIX-listed Nobel Biocare, the world’s largest dental implant and digital dentistry company (since taken over by Danaher in the U.S).

    He holds a BS in Life Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a PhD in Biochemistry from Stanford University School of Medicine and an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

    Dame Karen Jones DBE

    Board Member

    Member of the Human Capital Committee

    British national, born 1956.

    First joined 2011.

    Karen has over 30 years of experience in creating, developing, and leading hospitality businesses across the U.K. She was previously CEO of Spirit Group Ltd (a 2,500 strong pub group) and Co-Founded the Pelican Group Plc, the owner of several successful restaurant chains.

    Karen is Executive Chairman of Hawksmoor (backed by Graphite Capital), Mowgli Street Food (backed by Foresight Group), Frontier Pubs (a JV with Ei Group/Stonegate Pubs) and Board Member of Deliveroo Plc (online food delivery company) where she chairs the remuneration committee. She was appointed as Commissioner for The Crown Estate in 2020 and recently joined the Board of Whitbread Plc.

    Karen chairs the Board of National Theatre Enterprises Ltd and is a Patron of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

    She holds a BA in English and American Literature from the University of East Anglia in the UK, which also awarded her an honorary doctorate and where she is now Chancellor. She spent a year at Wellesley College, USA.

    In the Queen's Birthday Honours in June 2022, Karen was awarded the honour of DBE (Dame Commander of the British Empire) for Services to Business and Hospitality.

    Ms. Diana Oltramare

    Board Member

    Member of the Governance & Sustainability Committee

    Swiss national, born 1979.

    First joined 2021.

    Diana Oltramare joined the Firmenich Board in October 2021.

    She is a member of the Board of Sentarom SA, the holding company of the Firmenich group of companies, which is a position she has held since 2018.

    Prior to joining the Sentarom Board, Diana worked successively as an Associate at Geneva law firm Bonnant Warluzel & Associés, and as Risk Manager at Swiss private bank Lombard Odier. She has also had training experience working within the legal advisory team of UBS Financial Services in New York.

    Diana holds a law degree from the University of Geneva and was admitted to the Geneva Bar in 2007.

    Mr. André Pometta

    Board Member

    Member of the Finance , Audit & Risk Committee and Human Capital Committee

    Swiss national, born 1965.

    First joined 2003.

    André Pometta joined the Firmenich Board in 2003. He was a Board Member of Sentarom SA from 2000 to 2008 and re-joined in 2014.

    Today, André works exclusively on innovative projects with investors, successful entrepreneurs, and executives. He advises and supports businesses and start-ups in the fields of social integration, clean tech, and affordable tourism.

    Prior to working independently, André was a member of Firmenich’s Flavour Executive Team until 2013 and was appointed President of Firmenich China in 2008. He played an active role in the restructuring of the division, building a culture of customer & consumer centricity, and was instrumental in establishing China as its own independent region within the organization.

    André joined Firmenich in 1997 in the Fragrance division. He spent most of his career working for customers in China, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, where he successfully led and implemented strategies that delivered significant growth with local customers in emerging markets. André started his career in the Philippines working more than four years for the Zuellig Group where he held various positions in sales, marketing and operations.

    André is a Board Member of Smixin SA (a cleantech company).

    André holds a BS in Economics from HEC Lausanne, Switzerland.

    Dr. Ajai Puri

    Board Member

    Member of the Governance & Sustainability Committee and Human Capital Committee

    U.S./U.K. national, born 1953.

    First joined 2014.

    From 2003 to 2007, Ajai served as Executive Board Member and President – Research, Development and Product Integrity at Royal Numico, a specialized nutrition company. At Royal Numico, now part of Groupe Danone, he was responsible for developing and implementing a highly successful science driven, consumer-led R&D strategy in the areas of early life and medical nutrition. He also served as Principal Crisis Management Officer at the Company. Prior to Royal Numico, Ajai had a long career at The Minute Maid Company / The Coca-Cola Company in the U.S. During this 22 year period, he held a various positions of global scope including that of Senior Vice President Technical (Science and Technology).

    Ajai holds non-executive directorships at Britannia Industries Ltd, one of India’s largest independent food groups, Olam International, a leading global food and agri-business and at IMI Plc, a specialist engineering group. He was also recently appointed as non-executive director of Califia Farms, a North American leader in plant milks and premium ready-to-drink coffee. His previous board mandates include non-executive directorships with Nutreco NV, Barry Callebaut AG and Tate & Lyle Plc.

    He holds a Ph.D. in Food Science from the University of Maryland, College Park, United States and an MBA from the Crummer School, Rollins College, Orlando, United States.

    Mr. Richard Ridinger

    Board Member

    Member of the Finance, Audit & Risk Committee

    German national, born 1958.

    First joined 2016.

    Richard has extensive experience in science-driven organizations. His most recent role was as the CEO of Lonza, a global leader in Life Sciences which he held until 2019. In this position, he strengthened Lonza’s market position in relevant markets, and drove competitive capabilities and productivity improvement in critical areas. Prior to becoming CEO at Lonza, he was responsible for Care Chemicals, the largest group at Cognis, a former division of Henkel, with approximately 3,000 employees. A trained chemical engineer, his experience spans process development, production management, product and marketing management, leading global business units and responsibility for leading a worldwide specialty chemicals group.

    Richard is Chairman of the Board of Recipharm AB, Chairman of the Advisory Committee of Zentiva, Board Member of SHL Medical AG, Member of the Advisory Group of NOVO Holding and member of the Supervisory Board of Brenntag AG.

    He holds a Master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Karlsruhe in Germany.

    From left to right: Dr. Sarah Reisinger, Mr. Eric Nicolas, Ms. Ilaria Resta, Mr. Benoit Fouilland, Mr. Gilbert Ghostine, Ms. Mieke Van de Capelle, Ms. Jane Sinclair, Mr. Boet Brinkgreve and Mr. Emmanuel Butstraen.

    Mr. Gilbert Ghostine

    Chief Executive Officer

    Gilbert Ghostine joined Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned perfume and taste company, in October 2014, as the Group’s first non-family member CEO since it was founded in 1895. Over the past eight years, the Group has grown at a CAGR of +5% (organic), made 14 strategic acquisitions, and employs 11,000 people worldwide, generating an annual turnover of 4.7 billion Swiss Francs. Firmenich’s products and innovations touch billions of people around the world every day, through their foods, beverages, home & body care products and fine fragrances.

    Under Gilbert’s leadership, Firmenich has grown into a recognized global leader in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance, driven by bold and measurable ambitions including carbon neutral direct operations by 2025. In 2020, Firmenich achieved 100% renewable electricity in its operations worldwide, an industry-first. Today, the Group is one of only two companies worldwide that have received a CDP triple A rating for climate, water and forests in four consecutive years. Firmenich achieved a Sustainalytics industry-leading score of 7.5 that also ranked the Group as an ESG Global Top 50 Rated company worldwide.

    Placing people at the heart of the Group’s success, Gilbert is committed to enabling a working environment where all his colleagues can thrive around the world. Today, Firmenich stands out with gender parity on its Executive Team, while women comprise 46% of management roles and 37% of the company’s global workforce. Firmenich is one of two companies in the world to secure “Living Wage Certification” for all employees.

    Gilbert is driving world-class research, creativity and winning performance for customers across the organization, while keeping the Company’s culture firmly anchored in its core values as a responsible business. Firmenich’s groundbreaking science and innovation capability is working to address some of the greatest global challenges, such as wellbeing, nutrition and harnessing digital transformation.

    Prior to leading Firmenich, Gilbert worked for Diageo, the world’s leading premium spirits company, for more than two decades in senior leadership roles across four continents: Africa, Asia, the United States and Europe.

    Gilbert is a Board member of Danone, and of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

    He holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from Saint Joseph University, Lebanon and completed Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.

    Mr. Boet Brinkgreve

    President Ingredients

    Boet has a track record of driving strategic growth and transformation at Firmenich since 2007. As President of Ingredients, he is responsible for strengthening the Group’s leadership in naturals, biotech, biodegradable and renewable ingredients. Focused on driving the most competitive palette in the industry across Perfumery and Flavors, Boet leads the Group’s end-to-end Ingredients business, spanning sales, portfolio management and industrial operations, as well as new business segments, such as adhesives, cosmetics and agriculture. He is also responsible for the strategic leadership of Purchasing, overseeing global sourcing, procurement and supplier collaboration. Previously, Boet held the position of Chief Supply Chain Officer. Prior to joining Firmenich, Boet worked for DuPont in several senior roles, in private equity and ran various start-ups. Boet holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from HTS Den Bosch and an Executive MBA from INSEAD.

    Mr. Emmanuel Butstraen

    President Taste & Beyond

    Emmanuel is committed to strengthening Firmenich’s position as the global innovation partner of choice in taste and nutrition, leading growth across the Group’s three segments: Beverages, Sweet Goods, and Savory. Creating winning solutions for our customers with a focus on enhanced wellbeing, he is putting Firmenich’s expertise to work making healthier choices taste great, from sugar, salt and fat reduction, to green protein and clean label offerings. Prior to Firmenich, Emmanuel was President of Solvay’s Novecare GBU, preceded by 17 years with BASF, where he served as Strategy Senior VP of the Agricultural Products division. Emmanuel graduated as an Agricultural Engineer and obtained an MBA, both from the University of Lille.

    Mr. Benoit Fouilland

    Chief Financial Officer

    Benoit joined Firmenich as Chief Financial Officer in September 2020. He is responsible for leading the company’s global finance organization and serves as Secretary of the Finance, Audit & Risk Committee of the Board of Directors. Benoit brings extensive experience of building and leading finance organizations at global technology companies, including Business Objects, SAP and Criteo. In his most recent role as Criteo’s CFO he had a pivotal role in scaling the company through rapid growth and leading its highly successful NASDAQ IPO. He is passionate about developing finance excellence to maximize company performance and enable sustainable business success. Benoit holds a Master’s in Management from the ESLSCA Graduate School of Business in Paris, a Master’s degree in Finance from Dauphine University in Paris and an MBA from INSEAD.

    Mr. Eric Nicolas

    Chief Operating Officer

    Eric is overseeing Corporate Strategy & M&A, Digitalization and Information Services, Business Process Excellence, Global Workplace Solutions, and Supply Chain. A champion of sustainable finance, he is a Board Member of the Livelihoods Carbon Fund, rated as “Best Corporate Offsetting Program” by the Voluntary Carbon Markets Rankings in 2016. Prior to joining Firmenich, Eric served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Controller and Group Strategy of the Renault Group in Paris, France. Eric holds a Master’s in Econometrics from the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, a Doctorate in Economy and Organizational Sciences, a Master’s in Finance from HEC in Paris, and has successfully completed the International Directors Program at INSEAD.

    Ms. Ilaria Resta

    President Perfumery

    Ilaria was named President, Global Perfumery in March 2020, and is transforming our Fine Fragrance and Consumer Fragrances business. She is leading organizational change and pioneering digital innovation to lead Perfumery into new markets, augment creative excellence, and drive sales for winning performance with our customers. A passionate business leader with expertise in brand building, sales and P&L management, Ilaria has more than 22 years of experience with Procter & Gamble, building iconic brands such as Tide, Ariel, Fairy, Swiffer, Duracell, Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Herbal Essences and Aussie, across Europe, Middle-East, China and North America. She was recognized as 2020 Brand Builder of the Year in the US by WWD. Highly creative, collaborative, direct and positive, Ilaria believes in the power of people and partnership to drive breakthrough business results. Ilaria holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Economics from the University of Naples and a Master’s in Financial Mathematics.

    Dr. Sarah Reisinger

    Chief Research Officer

    Dr. Sarah Reisinger, Chief Research Officer, is driving Firmenich towards new frontiers of scientific excellence, building on the Group’s legacy of industry-leading innovation. She is committed to embracing new technology to deliver breakthrough solutions in our fast-changing world, harnessing the Research & Development team’s multidisciplinary and global approach. Dr. Reisinger combines an extensive background in biotechnology with a strong track record in ingredients and technology development for the consumer goods industry. Prior to joining Firmenich in 2018 as VP Biotechnology and Process Engineering, she held pivotal roles at Ginkgo Bioworks, Intrexon and Amyris, after starting her career in the field of biology and cancer therapeutics. Dr. Reisinger holds a B.S. in Biology from Harvey Mudd College, US, as well as an M.S. in Plant Biology and a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of California, Berkeley.

    Ms. Jane Sinclair

    General Counsel

    Jane leads the governance functions of the company and brings over 30 years of international experience in FMCG, pharmaceuticals and research companies. With extensive experience in emerging and mature markets – having lived and worked in Asia, Australia, USA and Europe –, Jane is committed to building trust to last by conducting responsible business for present and future generations. In addition to being the General Counsel, Jane leads the Legal & Compliance functions across our worldwide operations with direct oversight of Legal; Intellectual Property; Quality, Health, Safety & Environment; Regulatory; Business Ethics and Trade Compliance. With her commitment to responsible business, the company's leadership in environmental, safety and regulatory stewardship has been secured. Prior to joining Firmenich, Jane worked in multiple senior roles in the Asia Pacific, USA, Europe and Australia for Abbott, AbbVie, Genea and The Coca-Cola Company. Jane holds an LL.B. in Asian Studies and Law from the Australian National University, an MBA in Business Administration and Management from Deakin University, and successfully completed the INSEAD International Directors Program.

    Ms. Mieke Van de Capelle

    Chief Human Resources Officer

    Mieke joined Firmenich as Chief Human Resources Officer in June 2016. She is responsible for leading the Global Human Resources, Sustainability and Corporate Communications functions, setting our strategy and winning culture as a responsible business, and is the Secretary of the Governance and Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors. Under her leadership, Firmenich obtained the EDGE global certification for gender equality, as one of only seven companies worldwide, and Ethical Corporation’s global Diversity & Inclusion Award. Mieke is at the forefront of defining the shift in workforce capabilities to meet changing demands impacted by digitalization and focuses on our core values and purpose to uphold human rights. A seasoned leader with 20+ years of broad consumer goods experience, Mieke has worked across Europe, the US and Asia. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Communication Strategy from the University of Burgundy in Dijon, France, as well as a Master’s Degree in Philology from Ghent University, a Diploma in Business Administration and Management, and a Diploma in Organizational Leadership from IMD Business School.

    Our legacy

    We have been leading
    business responsibly
    for 125 years.

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