The company unveiled its Bright 2020 plan in 2015, building on six key pillars including sustainability, people & culture, consumer focus, innovation and science, developing markets, and execution and simplification (see figure at the end of the article).
Mary Clarke joined the company as Senior Vice President and General Manager for North America. The position is a new position, she told us, and is part of CEO’s Olivier Rigaud’s plan for four regional ‘frontline’ teams, each led by a senior vice president/general manager.
“Olivier determined that the company needed a different structure to ensure Naturex had the capability in place to provide the right focus to accelerate regionally-driven business development,” explained Clarke.
Customer engagement and passion
Clarke has an extensive career, starting her professional life as a chemical engineer and achieving an executive MBA in Finance from the University of Delaware along the way. Her experience within the specialty ingredients industry includes notable roles with players such as FMC, Lubrizol, and Hercules Inc. (acquired by Ashland in 2008), among others.
“What’s remarkable about Naturex is the high level of customer engagement and passion,” said Clarke. “Naturex is 25 years old, founded by an entrepreneur, and the company has been phenomenally successful with over $400 million in turnover. Not many companies get to that level in just 25 years, and it has done it with a combination of acquisitions and continued investment in innovation.
“The company still has the entrepreneurial spirit with a broad product range of products in its portfolio,” she added.
In her first 100 days she’s been focused on ensuring the company has the team and capabilities in place to deliver on the growth targets, with the focus on four main ingredient types: colors, antioxidants, phyto-actives, and specialty fruit and vegetables.
“I am excited and proud to lead Naturex’s North American team,” said Clarke. “Our employees are at the heart of our success and I look forward to writing the next chapter in our 25-year history with them.”
Naturex also announced the appointment of Reza Kamarei, PhD, as global nutrition and health R&D vice president. Dr Kamarei holds four academic degrees in the field of nutrition and food science including a PhD in food science & technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has extensive R&D and management experience in the areas of functional ingredients, nutraceuticals, food and beverages and dietary supplements. His missions at Naturex will include coming up with creative ideas, developing new products and technologies, improving existing products and contributing to the group’s open-innovation initiatives on a global level.
“The appointments of Mary and Reza are a sign of our commitment to achieving our Bright 2020 objectives,” said Olivier Rigaud, Naturex’s CEO. “I’m confident that both Mary and Reza will play key roles in delivering Naturex’s growth targets and outstanding service and innovation to our clients.”
When the Bright 2020 plan was launched in 2015, about 50% of the Naturex business was in Europe, followed by the US (40%) and 10% in emerging markets. The company is well on its way to growing the emerging markets to 25% of the business.
“In 2016, growth momentum remained on track in the Latin America and Asia-Pacific regions with combined revenue of €83.9 million, representing 20.7% of total Group sales, up from 17.6% in 2015,” a company spokesperson told us.