Bel Group restructures management ahead of UK expansion

Bel Group, the cheese manufacturer behind brands such as Babybel, Laughing Cow and Leerdammer, is undergoing a major managerial shake-up as it prepares to expand its operations in the UK.

The restructure will see the creation of a new global brand and category director role, which will be filled by UK marketing director Ian Greengrass, effective from 1 September. Greengrass’ new role will be stationed in the group’s Paris headquarters.

The shake-up comes as Bel UK prepares to move its premises from Maidstone to Sevenoaks, after outgrowing its existing premises and requiring larger, more open-plan offices.

Under the plans, UK managing director Etienne Lecomte is moving back to France after being promoted to Bel France managing director. He has been UK managing director for four years and will leave for France at the end of the month, replacing Dominique Poggi who will be overseeing the Northern Europe business.

Lecomte will be replaced by Bel France marketing director Jean-Noel Darniche, who will come over to the UK during the last week of August. Darniche’s role will be filled by Isabelle Jacquet.

Bel is currently recruiting for a new UK marketing director and is considering bringing someone in from outside the company.

Greengrass told Pitch that the restructure is part of standard procedure at Bel.

“Bel is a global company and they encourage marketing moves and every three years or so people tend to move around,” he says.

This story first appeared on Pitch, Centaur’s subscription-based online interactive marketplace for agencies and clients to share news, opinion and debate.


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