Phil Rumbol returns client-side as CEO of Bahlsen biscuits

Phil Rumbol, who announced his departure from MullenLowe last month, has been appointed as CEO of one of the agency’s clients, German biscuit maker Bahlsen.

Rumbol, famous for being the client behind Cadbury’s “Gorilla” ad, will be the first non-family member to run the company, whose brands include Choco Leibniz and Pick Up! biscuits.

His appointment coincides with changes at the privately-owned business, which was founded in 1889, and has offices across Europe, the US and the Middle East.

Verena Bahlsen, just 27 years old, is taking over from her father, 70 year-old German politician Werner Bahlsen, as the “primary active shareholder”. Her role will be non-executive, but she has experience in the food business as founder of Hermann’s, a “food innovation network” focused on sustainability and innovation in the sector, which also operates a restaurant and event space in Berlin.

Rumbol says: “It’s an honour and privilege to become the first non-family CEO of Bahlsen. It’s a wonderful family business with great products and a rich heritage. Having spent time with Verena and Werner, I was drawn to the inspiring vision they have for the business and look forward to working with everyone to make this vision a reality.“

Verena Bahlsen says: “I’m taking the new role and the accompanying responsibilities very seriously. What connects my dad and I is our passion for food, entrepreneurship and the products as well as our brands. I‘m looking forward to start working with the management board.”

Rumbol joins the Bahlsen next month, and will be based in Germany.

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